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Apple emerges victorious in HTC patent suit [Times of Oman]
[November 23, 2011]

Apple emerges victorious in HTC patent suit [Times of Oman]

(Times of Oman Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON: Apple won a US trade case brought by HTC's S3 Graphics over ways to make images appear three-dimensional on an electronic display, the first definitive patent ruling affecting smartphone imports. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said S3's patent rights weren't violated by Apple, according to a notice released on the agency's website. The commission gave no reason for its ruling and the decision will be released after both sides have a chance to redact confidential information.

The decision marks the first time the six-member commission has ruled on one of the dozen cases at the agency stemming from the battle for the smartphone market. A victory for HTC could have led to a ban on imports of Apple products, including some Mac computers, the iPhone and iPad tablet computer.

"Apple's win strikes the first blow in its wide-ranging patent fight with HTC," Mike Abramsky, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a note to clients after the decision. HTC, which sold the most smartphones in the US in the third quarter, said in an e-mailed statement it may challenge the ruling at a US appeals court that specialises in patent law.

"We are disappointed, but respect the ITC's decision," Grace Lei, general counsel for Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC, said in the statement.

"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." Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, said the Cupertino, California-based company had no comment.

S3 acquisition An agency judge found in July that Apple's Mac computers infringed two S3 patents, while devices that run on the iOS mobile operating system, including the iPhone and iPad tablet computer, didn't.

The commission, made up of three Republicans and three Democrats, reviewed the entire decision, including the effects of Apple's agreements with Intel and Nvidia for graphics chips. HTC, which announced it would buy closely held S3 for $300 million after the judge issued his findings, was counting on a victory to bolster its patent battles with Apple.

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