S3 Graphics loses a patent fight with Apple

Monday's decision by the US ITC is a setback for HTC, which bought S3 amid its own patent fight with Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined that Apple did not infringe technology patents owned by S3 Graphics and ended its investigation of the matter, the ITC announced Monday.

The decision is a setback for handset maker HTC, which recently acquired S3 and is fighting its own patent battles with Apple at the ITC and elsewhere.

S3 filed its complaint in May last year, accusing Apple of infringing four of its patents related to image rendering. In July, an administrative law judge issued an initial decision that sided with S3 on two of those patents.

Monday's decision overturned that finding, however.

"Having examined the record of this investigation, including the [administrative law judge's initial decision] and the submissions of the parties and non-parties, the Commission has determined to reverse the [administrative law judge's] finding of a violation of section 337 and find no violation," the ITC said.

HTC announced its plan to buy S3 for $300 million in July, just after the ITC's initial decision came out. It was seen as a way for HTC to strengthen its patent arsenal against Apple and other rivals.

"We are disappointed, but respect the ITC's decision," HTC said in a statement Monday. "While the outcome is not what we hoped for, we will review the ruling once the commission provides it and will then consider all options, including appeal."

It's not the end of the matter for another reason, too: In September, S3 filed a separate complaint with the ITC, accusing Apple of violating a different set of patents.

Apple, meanwhile, has filed its own complaints against HTC, at the ITC and in U.S. federal courts.

In a twist, Advanced Micro Devices filed a motion in September to intervene in the case that was just terminated, claiming the patents asserted by S3 actually belong to AMD. The ITC denied AMD's motion to intervene, but it allowed AMD to file a further motion in the case.

The ITC is a U.S. federal agency set up to investigate trade issues and provide advice to the president and U.S. lawmakers.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonespatentiPhonelegalAndroidComponentsS3 GraphicsAppleGraphics boardsconsumer electronicshtcintellectual property

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?