Typhoon Touch Technologies, a developer and licensee of touch-screen technology, has sued Dell and Motion Computing for patent infringement.
The lawsuit, announced on Thursday, was filed in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas. Typhoon licensee Nova Mobility Systems, a maker of tablet PCs, is a co-plaintiff in the complaint.
Typhoon alleges that the defendants have infringed on two of its U.S. patents, Nos. 5,379,057 and 5,675,362, issued in 1995 and 1997, respectively.
The alleged infringements have occurred through the manufacture, sale, and/or import of portable computer products covered by the patents.
Those products include tablet PCs, slate PCs, handheld PCs, PDAs, ultramobile PCs, and smartphones.
Dell was not immediately available for comment.
Typhoon is seeking damages and is asking the court to bar Dell and Motion from continued infringing activity.
"As alleged in our complaint, we believe that both Dell and Motion Computing are using and profiting from our patented technologies," James Shepard, chief executive and president of Typhoon, said in a statement.
"We believe that their infringement was willful and therefore entitles us to treble damages."
Typhoon's core business is in the development and licensing of touch-screen technology. Nova competes with Motion in selling tablet PCs for data collection in industries that include health and medical, retail field service, fleet management, and building inspection.
Lawyer Craig Weiner of the law firm of Hofheimer, Gartlir & Gross LLP in New York is representing the plaintiffs.
Touch-screen technologies have been thrust in the forefront of the industry with the release of the Apple iPhone, a smartphone that has been lauded for its innovative screen that enables finger manipulation of data.
Computer makers have also turned to touch screens for desktops, such as Hewlett-Packard TouchSmart PC, released in January.
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