updated 05:50 pm EDT, Fri September 23, 2011
S3 sues, files ITC gripes again versus Apple
S3 Graphics chose not to wait for the HTC acquisition to follow through to launch a second lawsuit and matching ITC dispute against Apple. The complaints, filed Thursday but publicized Friday, accuses Apple of violating patents both on a VGA graphics controller and on a rendering technique for 3D triangles. The lawsuit, submitted in a federal Delaware court, describes the scope as covering all iOS devices and Macs.
The lawsuit is unlikely to go ahead until the ITC dispute is resolved. Many companies, Apple included, often file with the ITC to get a more definitive statement on patent validity faster than through a trial. Most ITC cases finish within one and a half years where many trials can last twice as long or more. The lawsuits are meant to add financial damages to underscore the ITC's threat of a product ban.
S3 is seizing on its partial win against Apple at the ITC in July. It may also have been prompted by HTC which, having already lost at the ITC, may hope for S3 to win more cases that could serve as leverage. Apple is trying to use HTC's buyout against S3 by contending that S3 may have lost control over its patents through its deal.
HTC is still waiting on a more definitive ITC verdict on Apple's original complaint that should arrive by October 17. If upheld, it could push HTC into an agreement rather than face a ban on its smartphones. [via Florian Mueller]