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HTC's $300 million move for S3 Graphics in doubt as ITC favours Apple in patent case

HTC's $300 million move for S3 Graphics in doubt as ITC favours Apple in patent case
HTC is to reconsider its planned $300 million purchase of S3 Graphics after the International Trading Commission (ITC) ruled in favour of Apple in the firm's patent case against the Cupertino giant.

An official note from the ITC found that "no violation...has been shown...and that the investigation is terminated".

 

The move respresents a reversal of the decision previously reached by the Administrative Law Judge back in July, who stated Apple's products infringed on the chipset manufacuter's patents.

Appeal-ing acquisition?

That early victory was followed by a move by HTC to acquire the company from current owner VIA Technologies just days later – a move Bloomberg claims is now under internal evaluation.

No specific grounds for overturning the original decision have been given by the ITC, though HTC general counsel Grace Lei claims an appeal is already being considered.

The motivation behind the S3 Graphics buyout was never vocalised by HTC, though any patent hold over Apple would have proved invaluable to the firm moving forwards.

Either way, shares in HTC have already fallen by 5 percent following the ruling.

"It's a setback for HTC, which is in the process of acquiring S3 Graphics and was hoping to gain leverage against Apple," said IP expert Florian Mueller of Foss Patents.

"HTC's own first ITC complaint against Apple is rather unlikely to result in a finding of any violation. An Administrative Law Judge made an initial determination of no violation, and the ITC staff (the Office of Unfair Import Investigations) does not appear to oppose the ALJ's position."

[sources: Foss Patents]

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.

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