updated 06:10 pm EST, Mon November 21, 2011
ITC gives Apple huge win against S3
S3, and by extension HTC, was dealt a major blow on Monday after an Administrative Law Judge dismissed S3's initial ITC complaint. The ruling didn't explain the decision but completely rejected all of the claims across the four patents. An initial ruling had given two wins to S3 but has been overturned.
The judge had already hinted that it wasn't likely S3 would win claims against iOS devices, but the decision now also exonerated Macs that were also targeted in the dispute.
For HTC, the verdict deprives it of an advantage it had been counting on. Although S3 was ostensibly meant to help graphics on its phones and tablets, the video hardware designer was bought by HTC just days after a favorable ITC ruling. The takeover was widely interpreted as an attempt to get a company with a known patent victory against Apple to force a settlement.
The win doesn't leave Apple out of trouble, as both HTC and S3 have follow-up challenges that have yet to be decided. With Apple exonerated in one HTC case and now by S3, however, the iPhone maker has seen much of the legal rivalry swing in its favor and could be the one forcing HTC to change its software and accept a royalty. [via Florian Mueller]