FRUIT THEMED GADGET SELLER Apple did not infringe HTC graphics patents, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled.
It is a reversal of an earlier ITC decision, which had ruled that Apple infringed some of the patents held by S3 Graphics, a unit of HTC.
S3 had filed a complaint with the ITC in May 2010 accusing Apple of infringing four patents, which S3 said Apple used widely in its products.
The ITC's investigation into the matter between Apple and S3 has been terminated. The ITC has the power to stop shipments of products into the US when a patent has been violated, so if ITC had upheld its prior ruling, HTC could have given Apple a big slap in the face.
The case is one of many patent battles Apple is fighting around the world, most of which concern its rival Samsung.
HTC general counsel Grace Lei said, "We are disappointed, but respect the ITC's decision. While the outcome is not what we hoped for, we will review the ruling once the commission provides it and will then consider all options, including appeal."
She added that HTC is "pleased" that last week the ITC instituted a new investigation of Apple based on a complaint filed by S3 Graphics (Investigation No. 337-TA-813), where HTC alleges that Apple "infringed four patents related to various aspects of computer and mobile graphics". µ
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