Apple may have evaded one potential lawsuit over the iPhone user interface, but faces further problems preventing a Tawanese company shipping a first-generation iPod shuffle imitation.
UK firm Quantum Research Group is denying it plans to litigate against Apple for infringing its patent on sensor technology it was claimed was used in the iPhone.
The company is already prosecuting Apple over technologies it claims are used within the iPod Click Wheel, saying electronic components — specifically the capacitive sensing technology — used in the Click Wheel breech its patents.
On the iPhone, Duncan Bryan, licensing director at Quantum Research last week said: "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 Quantum Research capability."
The company now says: "Quantum has no knowledge of any infringement by Apple of Quantum's patents in regard to the iPhone or any other product other than those products alleged to be infringing in our 2005 lawsuit against Apple and Cypress Semiconductor, specifically the Powerbook trackpad, Mighty Mouse, and iPod Nano scroll wheel."
The company adds: "Until the iPhone product is made available for public sale, we have to make the operating assumption that no Quantum patents have been violated."
Meanwhile in Taiwan, Apple has failed in its attempt to prevent LuxPro shipping its V1 iPod-shuffle lookalike. Apple managed to prevent the product being sold in 2005, but a Taiwanese court recently voided that decision. LuxPro is now pursuing Apple for $100 million in damages for loss of sales as a result of the original suit.
LuxPro has confirmed it plans to put its product on sale once again, according to Electronic Engineering Times.