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Patents Apple

ITC Rules Apple Does Not Infringe S3 Graphics Patents 81

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fighting-fire-with-fire-burns dept.
First time accepted submitter boley1 writes "According to Cnet — S3 Graphics's case collapsed in their ITC suit, with the ITC ruling that Apple does not infringe on any of S3's patents. A big blow to HTC according to the report." So much for HTC buying a warchest; according to the ruling it looks like AMD/ATI actually owned the patents in question.
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ITC Rules Apple Does Not Infringe S3 Graphics Patents

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  • S3TC patent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GeLeTo (527660) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @03:14AM (#38133410)
    This probably makes the texture compression patent (S3TC) invalid. Now it can be safely implemented in Mesa.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ITC ruling that Apple does not infringe on S3 patents implies no such thing.

    • This would definitely be nice, but I don't think that's the case. :(

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This would definitely be nice, but I don't think that's the case. :(

        The initial case claimed that the PVRTC in iPhones etc infringed S3TC (which seems absurd) but was later extended to the use of S3TC in Macs. Given that the suppliers of the graphics chips for Macs apparently had licences from S3, I couldn't see that ending well for S3/HTC.

    • by maudefan (726762)

      This probably makes the texture compression patent (S3TC) invalid. Now it can be safely implemented in Mesa.

      Not unlikely. Although there does not seem to be any legal ruling that mandates this, this claim is mentioned here [phoronix.com] and on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

  • by Wordplay (54438) <geo@snarksoft.com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @03:39AM (#38133486)

    I read it as AMD claimed to own the patents in question but the motion claiming such was denied when the case was found for Apple without needing it. I don't think there was a decision made regarding the ownership.

    • The bits about AMDs motion is in the second to last paragraph.

      The actual finding [usitc.gov]

      Anyways, give it a read before discussing what it says.

      but wait, this is slashdot, rtfa? nah
      • by Wordplay (54438)

        Well, I did read that before posting. It says:

        "Having examined the record of this investigation, including the ALJ’s final ID and the submissions of the parties and non-parties, the Commission has determined to reverse the ALJ’s finding of a violation of section 337 and find no violation. Additionally, the Commission has determined to deny AMD’s motion to file public interest comments out of time, to grant AMD’s motion to file a reply in connection with its motion to intervene and te

        • We are in violent agreement that AMD's ownership claim wasn't disputed. They only only had to decide S3 didn't have any rights in the matter. I read the rest of it as dealing with the administrivia of getting the case off their docket. You can almost feel the ITC's disgust towards S3 oozing through. I wonder if Apple will seek sanctions against S3.

          Sorry for inferring that you didn't read the finding before posting. I conflated your response with the plethora of uninformed ones. I apologize for that
          • We are in violent agreement that AMD's ownership claim wasn't disputed.

            How does one "violently agree"? Is that like angry sex?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @03:51AM (#38133520)
    When did that happen for the last time in known history? ITC has one purpose only -- to protect US companies from competition.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Chrisq (894406)

      When did that happen for the last time in known history? ITC has one purpose only -- to protect US companies from competition.

      It will come back to bite them eventually. Other companies are doing the same like getting apple banned in Taiwan [google.com]. By setting up this framework of protectionism now they will suffer when being banned in China becomes worse for multinationals than being banned in the USA

      • by maudefan (726762) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @05:50AM (#38133834)

        When did that happen for the last time in known history? ITC has one purpose only -- to protect US companies from competition.

        It will come back to bite them eventually. Other companies are doing the same like getting apple banned in Taiwan [google.com]. By setting up this framework of protectionism now they will suffer when being banned in China becomes worse for multinationals than being banned in the USA

        The article you are linking to actually talks about banning APPLES (the fruit) imported from the US in Taiwan. You probably wanted to refer to the ban of selling some Apple products in South Korea, which is seeked by Samsung. This ban, however, did not happen so far it seems.

        • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:49AM (#38134388)

          The principle is the same though. If the U.S. International Trade Court consistently rules in favor of U.S. companies, then it is highly likely that the trade courts of other nations will rule for their domestic companies. Apple sue Samsung in U.S. and win, Samsung sue Apple in Korea and win. Apple sue HTC in U.S. and win, HTC sue Apple in Taiwan and win. It is probably no coincidence that the first company to stand up to Microsoft's Android tax has been a U.S. company, rather than the foreign device manufacturers.

          As regards this particular case, this is just one ruling in response to an appeal of a previous ruling, and this ruling will in turn be appealed. And even if Apple win the appeal, it still leaves HTC with hundreds of patents from the rest of their patent portfolio, plus the 265 S3 patents they acquired, plus the new patents they got from Google [pcmag.com]. They only need to win once to be able to block sales of infringing hardware. And they can't not win some of the time - if the U.S. ITC find in favor of Apple over a foreign company hundreds of times, then the international patent system is going to tear itself apart, starting with Taiwan and Korea.

          (Meanwhile, China has practically no intellectual property or patent enforcement, and is rewarded with the fastest growing economy in the world, despite a prolonged global recession. Ahh.....)

        • Samsung isn't trying to block the iPhone in South Korea. Is because they don't want to look like assholes? Is it because they want to look like the better company? Is it because they are afraid of losing on their home turf? Who knows.
    • by Deus.1.01 (946808)

      This is really a thought that's neither here nor there....

      But, if USA were to take a loan with the World Bank, they might have to close shop.

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:21AM (#38133620) Homepage Journal

    silo doors are opening... Steve Jobs's thermonuclear war is starting.

    HTC thought it could buy some patents and defend itself? Afro-American please! It's a puny gnat compared to the mighty arsenal Apple will unleash on their asses. Those S3 patents, they are like McBain's safety goggles -- they do nothing!

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @04:48AM (#38133680) Homepage

    The US-ITC rejects almost all such requests, so this is no surprise and doesn't necessarily mean the case has collapsed.

    Some patent holders surely use these procedures just to smear product developers and scare investors - in the hope of a easy cash settlement.

    More about the ITC:
    http://en.swpat.org/wiki/United_States_International_Trade_Commission [swpat.org]

  • ... if HTC, Apple and all the others spent their time and money making better products instead of on War Chests?

    If they competed on the strength of their merit instead of on the size of their legal funds?

    I'll crawl back into my little dreamworld now.

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