Apple is the target of a lawsuit by Tsera LLC, a technology firm based in Texas, claiming it infringed on its patent for a touchpad interface. Briefs filed in Federal District Court in Texas claim that Tsera owns “all right, title and interest in” a patent filed in 1999 and granted in 2003 for “methods and apparatus for controlling a portable electronic device using a touchpad.”
Tsera claims that several devices, including Apple’s iPod range, Microsoft’s Zune music player and LG’s Chocolate mobile phone handset infringe on its patent because they use a similar touchpad control interface.
Trackpads are also present in Apple's entire MacBook notebook line (as well as in most PC notebooks) so the suit could have far-reaching implications for the entire industry.
Apple isn't the only one in Tsera's crosshairs, the company is suing more than 20 companies, including Auditek Corp., Bang & Olufsen Ameerica, Inc., Bang & Olufsen A/S, Coby Electronics Corp., Cowon America, Inc., Cowon Systems, Inc., Dane Elec Corp. USA, Data Station, Inc., IMA-Hong Kong, Ltd., Impecca USA, Inc., iRiver, Inc., Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., Lasonic Electronics Corp., LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc.,, LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc., Mach Speed Technologies, Inc., Meizu Technology Co., Ltd., Microsoft Corp., Philips Electronics North America Corp., Spectra Merchandising International Inc. and TrekStor GmbH & Co. KG.
Is the case frivolous or meritorious?