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Apple sued over keyboard patent infringement in iPhone 11

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Apple (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • An Ireland-based company has filed patent complaints against several major tech companies including Apple.
  • It claims that these companies are infringing on four separate patents related to keyboard functionality and sensitivity.
  • Neodrom claims the patented improvements took years of research and millions of dollars in investment.

An Ireland based-company has filed patent infringement complaints against several major tech companies including Apple over patents related to keyboard functionality and sensitivity.

According to WIPR:

Ireland-based Neodron has filed multiple patent infringement complaints against Apple, Amazon, AsusTek Computer, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola and Sony, all related to keyboard functionality and sensitivity. Neodron has also filed a patent-infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission (USITC), in an attempt to block the importation of touchscreen mobile devices (such as the iPhone, iPad and other types of tablets) made and sold by a raft of technology giants. In the lawsuits, it claims the companies are infringing four separate patents: 7,821,425 ("capacitive keyboard with non-locking reduced keying ambiguity); 7,903,092 ("capacitive keyboard with position dependent reduced keying ambiguity"); 8,749,251 ("proximity sensor"); and 9,411,472 ("touch sensor with adaptive touch detection").

The improvements covered range from "fundamental ones, which make basic touch technology work, to optional improvements, which typically represent one technological option that improves aspects of the user experience and functionality of a touchscreen". The patented improvement reportedly took "years of research" and millions of dollars in investment. The suit claims that Apple's iPhone 11 and iPad Pro (third-generation) directly infringe all four listed patents.

Neodrom is requesting a ruling confirming the companies listed have infringed these patents, as well as damages, costs, and expenses. As the report notes, it is also seeking to block the importation of these devices.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.