Judge Rejects AMD Bid to Halt S3 Patent Complaint Against Apple

A federal judge has rejected AMD’s request to halt an ITC patent infringement complaint by S3 Graphics against Apple. AMD has sued S3 in federal court claiming that it owned the patents that S3 was trying to assert against Apple, and as part of that case, the chip and graphics company asked the judge to halt the S3 ITC case, but the judge declined to do so.

Apple & AMD vs. HTC & S3

As our intro paragraph suggests, this is a complex issue, and we didn’t even mention HTC’s in-progress purchase of S3 Graphics. The key issue, however, is that S3 owns four patents it has accused Apple of infringing upon, and the ITC found earlier this year that Apple’s Macs did, indeed, infringe on two of them.

HTC then set about purchasing S3 in order to better arm itself against Apple’s patent infringement claims against HTC’s Android devices. Then, of course, a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office review of those patents found that some of S3’s patent claims weren’t patentable, so there’s that whole mess.

In the meanwhile, AMD, which purchased graphics card maker ATI in 2006, said that ATI has owned the patents that S3 is trying to assert, and that it has done so since 2001. It was in pursuit of that claim that AMD tried to have S3’s ITC complaint thrown out, but as noted above, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware declined to grant that request.

This is a markedly complex next of issues that will likely take some time to sort out.