HTC's $300 million move for S3 Graphics in doubt as ITC favours Apple in patent case
HTC shares fall by 5% as a result
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.
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]