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HTC completes purchase of S3 Graphics

Gains 200 patents of questionable value
Thu Jun 14 2012, 10:53

MOBILE PHONE MAKER HTC has completed its purchase of S3 Graphics in a bid to boost its patent portfolio.

Like just about every other smartphone maker HTC is mired in patent disputes with its rivals and like its rivals it has been attempting to add to its patent portfolio. The firm has announced it has completed the purchase of S3 Graphics, gaining access to over 200 patents.

S3 Graphics filed a complaint against Apple alleging patent violation, however the firm lost in court and it was widely thought that HTC would lose interest in buying the company. However HTC's CEO Peter Chou claimed that buying S3 is part of a wider strategy to invest in patents at the right price.

Chou said, "HTC as a company needs to invest in patents, so this is a very good deal. Many companies spend a lot of money to buy patents. We'll stay open-minded for future similar purchases. If there's something right and there's a good opportunity then we'll consider it."

Chou also said lawsuits over alleged patent infringement had not damaged HTC, despite the firm's share price losing over 70 per cent of its value over the past 14 months. He said, "Only [Wall Street] is worried for us, we're not worried ourselves. We hope the disputes will get more reasonable in the future."

S3 Graphics at one time used to be a big player in the GPU business, but that was back around the time HTC was setting up shop in 1997. Although HTC has gained 200 or so patents from its purchase of S3, it remains to be seen whether they can help defend the company against Apple's lawyers. µ


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