iPhone touch-screen tech could mean legal trouble for Apple-do you agree?

Better get to know Quantum Research. They are a touch-sensor screen specialist based in Southampton, N.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor

Better get to know Quantum Research. They are a touch-sensor screen specialist based in Southampton, N.Y.

According to electronicsweekly.com, Quantum is getting quite "touchy" about the touch-screen technology described as user-friendly technology included in the forthcoming (as in June) iPhone.

“We will be looking very carefull y at the iPhone,” Quantum Research licensing director Duncan Bryan tells electronicsweekly.com writer David Manners. The description of the iPhone suggests it uses a rear-surface touch screen, and has proximity sensing which can tell if it is held to the ear. That’s a QR capability."

Bryan, and his colleagues believe what's at play here is QR's patented transfer capacitive sensing technology.

This thinking follows a pattern.

Two mnths ago, Quantum Research Group filed a lawsuit against Apple over the capacitive touch-sensing technology used in tiPod clickwheels. "We are suing Apple over charge-transfer technology in iPods," said Quantum CEO Hal Philipp said at the time. "Some are based on Cypress' PSoC chip and used in a way we believe infringes our patent.

Patent troll? 

Whoa, whoa, not so fast. Motorola has licensed this very touch-screen technology for use in its mobile phone keypads.

Apparently, according to Manners, Apple hasn't minded theirs when it comes to trying to come up with theirs.

"Apple has tried, and failed, to patent wheel-based sensors and manufacturers are adopting capacitive sensing rapidly," Manners writes. He then quotes Bryan as saying that "the market in the Far East is going berserk with everyone putting wheels and sliders in their products."

Bryan and Manners' additional comments hint that a license fee plus royalty agreement for this technology on iPhone would suit QR just fine.

But what about Apple, and their proud CEO? 

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