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Tuesday November 22, 2011 11:00 am

Apple gets big win against HTC in patent battle

Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories: Apple, Corporate News

iPod touch

HTC has been dealt another blow in its ongoing patent battle with Apple. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Monday that Apple's products don't infringe on patents held by S3 Graphics, a company in the process of being acquired by Taiwan-based HTC, ending the commission's investigation into the matter.

Last month, an ITC judge issued an initial judgment that Apple did not violate four HTC patents related to functions like power management and phone dialing. The Monday ruling concerned S3 patents for texture compression which relate to applications for things like 3D gaming.

HTC is in the process of closing a $300 million deal for S3 Graphics.

An HTC legal representative told The Wall Street Journal that the company was "disappointed" with the ITC ruling but would weigh its options, including an appeal of the decision.

The ITC ruling on the S3 patents was "a setback" for HTC and "the best possible outcome for Apple," patent expert Florian Mueller wrote on his blog Monday. Mueller also believes that HTC is "rather unlikely" to prevail in its other patent claim against Apple, given the ITC judge's preliminary ruling in that case.

But Apple could score a victory in at least one of its two patent infringement cases against HTC, which has so far turned up an initial determination by a judge in favor of Apple's claim that HTC infringed a pair of Apple patents.

The ITC has the power to ban imports of products found to infringe intellectual property rights.

This article, written by Damon Poeter, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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