Global giant, Apple Inc, has recently been on the receiving end of a high profile legal action brought by a Scottish company, Picsel Technologies, in relation to the technology used on the ever-popular itouch and iphone devices.

Last month, Glasgow based Picsel Technologies filed a lawsuit against Apple at Delaware District Court on the basis that Apple infringed a key patent as approved by the US patent office in March 2006, entitled "Systems and Methods for Generating Visual Representations of Graphical Data and Digital Document Processing'. The patent involves the on-screen browser software technology which is used on both the iphone and itouch devices. The technology which Picsel claims Apple is infringing refers to the ability of these devices to scroll and zoom when using the browser. The case has already been referred to as a David and Goliath battle on the basis that Picsel's turnover of £32.5m is up against Apple's $30 billion.

As a result of the alleged infringement by Apple, it has been reported that Picsel is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages, together with the American equivalent of an injunction or interdict in order to stop Apple from being able to add to the current total of over 250 million itouches and iphones which it has already sold worldwide.

In addition to the allegation that Apple infringed the patent, there have also been reports which suggest that Picsel believes that Apple knowingly and deliberately infringed the patent (although, equally, there are suggestions that Picsel is not in a position to prove this to be the case).

Many hurdles lie before Picsel if it is to be successful in winning its case however, since history has shown that when it comes to litigation, Apple has a reputation for drawing out disputes to lengthy court battles.

The likely timescales for the result are currently unknown but this E-Bulletin will keep track of the progress of this case and report further in the future with details of any developments.

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