S3 Graphics sues Apple again for patent infringement

Tue, Sep 27, 2011

Legal, News

In late July, a company called S3 Graphics won a ruling at the ITC when US ITC Judge James Gildea said that Apple’s line of Mac computers infringed upon two of S3’s patents.

Now, S3 Graphics, which is in the midst of being acquired by HTC, is suing Apple again, this time alleging that Apple products violate two patents originally applied for in the 1990’s.

The patents at issue in the new case are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,945,997: “Block- and band-oriented traversal in three-dimensional triangle rendering,” granted in 1999.
  • U.S. Patent No. 5,581,279, “VGA controller circuitry,” granted in 1996.

S3 Graphics recent action includes a complaint to the ITC along with a separate lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Delaware.

As for the ruling from this past July, Gildea explained that Nvidia GPUs have an implied license for S3’s patents. Consequently, Apple, if it can’t get the decision overturned, could dance around the ruling by equipping its Macs with Nvidia chips.

We’ll have more on S3’s recent filings once we take a look at the complaints.



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