Apple Hit with Patent Lawsuit over iPad Touch Screen

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Patent holding company Hilltop Technology slapped Apple with a lawsuit on Thursday alleging the company is infringing on a patent it holds for the touch screen technology used in the iPad and iPhone display. The patent covers capacitive touch screens, which is what Apple uses, as do Android device makers.

Hilltop Technology's patent infringement lawsuit targets Apple's iPadHilltop Technology's patent infringement lawsuit targets Apple's iPad

The patent in question, 7,864,503, describes, "a capacitive type touch panel having a transparent substrate having opposite top and bottom surfaces; an array of first and second conductors formed on said top surface of said transparent substrate; an array of second conductors; and a plurality of spaced apart conductive first and second bridging lines."

In other words, pretty much every touch screen in use on smartphones and tablets.

Hilltop Technology specifically mentioned the iPad Air in its lawsuit, although the company used wording allowing it to include older iPad models, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch, according to Patently Apple.

Like so many patent holding companies, Hilltop Technology filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas -- a venue known for favoring patent trolls holders.

Apple hasn't been singled out by Hilltop. The company filed a similar lawsuits against Wintek, AU Optronics Corporation, and Touch Revolution  starting in September 2013 -- which, coincidentally, happens to be when the company was formed.

Apple hasn't commented on the case.

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Patent trolls waste so much money and time; not only for the companies they target, but for the court system and tax payers, too. Apple has been targeted so many times with lawsuits in Federal Court in Marshall, Texas, that the company's legal team may as well be on oa first name basis with the Judges and court staff.

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