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Thursday, January 05, 2012, 07:48 am PT (10:48 am ET)

Multi-touch patent settlement with Elan costs Apple $5 million

Apple has reached a settlement in a multi-touch patent infringement suit with Elan Microelectronics Corp., in which the iPhone maker will pay out $5 million.

Taiwan-based Elan will also share patents with Apple as part of the settlement, Reuters reported on Thursday. The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by Elan against Apple in 2009, accusing the company of violating two patents related to multi-touch input, and Apple counter-sued the same year.

Apple's relatively small payout for a company with billions of dollars in cash reserves comes months after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Apple did not infringe on an Elan patent. Elan had accused Apple of "knowingly and deliberately" infringing on its technology for products like the iPhone, trackpads and the Magic Mouse.

Elan Microelectronics was founded in 1994 and builds integrated circuits used on touchpads. Its products include "eFinger," which allows for multi-finger input with handwriting recognition.

The $5 million settlement means Apple has one less lawsuit on its docket in an industry filled with patent infringement claims among device makers. Notable companies involved in patent infringement litigation with Apple include Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Kodak.