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Saturday, February 14, 2009, 09:05 am PT (12:05 pm ET)

Apple sued for iPhone screen tech; 17-inch MacBook Pro shipping

Apple has been served a lawsuit for allegedly infringing on patents with the iPhone's graphics technology. Also, the company has started delivering unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro systems to early buyers.

Apple sued regarding iPhone graphics technology

Mobile software developer Picsel Technologies has sued Apple this week in a Delaware federal district court under the belief that the graphics renderer in the iPhone and iPod touch treads on multiple patents.

By using particular techniques to speed up panning and zooming for images and other documents, Apple is effectively borrowing Picsel's own acceleration to make the iPhone work as smoothly as it does, the complaint reads.

Unlike many of these suits, the plaintiff already has major customers for its software that primarily include Japanese firms like KDDI and Sharp but also include American phone manufacturers such as Motorola and Palm. It's unclear whether these existing relationships also involve the specific technology used by Apple.

If successful in court, Picsel would tie the claimed damages to the number of iPhones already sold and would look to triple the amount as a punitive measure.

Unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro now shipping

Readers have told AppleInsider that their orders for the redesigned 17-inch MacBook Pro have started shipping as of Friday.

First launched in January at Macworld, the system first showed signs of delay when some customers were told their orders would likely slip into March despite promises it would ship in late January. Early this month, the company let many of these buyers know that their orders wouldn't ship for about two weeks due to problems "wrapping up" production.

What triggered the delay is unknown, though the 17-inch MacBook Pro is considered a technology vehicle for Apple. It includes a new, sealed battery that reportedly lasts 8 hours on a charge and also upgrades the display with a 60 percent wider color gamut helpful in visual editing.