Taiwan Company Moves to Block iPhone, iPad Shipments to US

Taiwanese touchscreen and chip maker Elan Microelectronics filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday in an attempt to block the import of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad into the United States for alleged patent infringement, according to Bloomberg.

Elan claimed in its filing that Apple “knowingly and deliberately” used patent protected technologies in its products without authorization. “Our goal is to protect our technology and to stop sales of those products in the U.S.,” commented Elan spokesperson Dennis Liu.

The company previously filed a lawsuit against Apple in April 2009 for patent infringement alleging at the time that the iPhone, iPod touch and MacBook all used technologies that are protected by patents it owns. The suit was filed after a two year negotiation process between Apple and Elan that eventually broke down.

Elan’s complaint with the ITC comes only days before Apple’s April 3 iPad launch. Considering that ITC investigations take months, however, it isn’t likely that a surprise ruling could block iPad shipments that are already enroute for Saturday’s launch event.