Apple beats HTC in patent infringement case; HTC becomes top U.S. smartphone seller

Apple beats HTC in patent infringement case; HTC becomes top U.S. smartphone seller
When HTC acquired S3 Graphics for $300 million this summer, the idea was that by purchasing the target's patent portfolio, HTC could defend itself against attacks from Apple's litigious lawyers. At the same time, the hope for the Taiwan based manufacturer was that the patents would allow them to go after Apple and its vaunted smartphone. On Tuesday the International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had not violated any of the patents acquired by HTC in the S3 Graphics deal and HTC said that it might appeal directly to a U.S. patent court. HTC General Counsel Grace Lei said the company was disappointed, but is still reviewing all of its options.

So was the S3 Graphics deal a waste of $300 million for HTC? It is still too early to tell as S3 still has an open case pending against Apple at the ITC, revclving around 4 patents it claims Apple illegally used. HTC itself has two cases against Apple pending, dealing with patents that the manufacturer received from Google. At the same time, the ITC is reviewing  a ruling made by an agency judge that HTC infringed on a pair of Apple patents. A decision on that case is due December 6th and could also include a review on a prior judge's ruling that cleared Apple of infringing on HTC patents.

Separately, HTC became the top selling smartphone brand in the U.S. during the third quarter, replacing Samsung. According to research firm Canalys, the Taiwan based firm had a 24% share of the smartphone market in the States during Q3 followed by the 21% belonging to Samsung and the 20% owned by Apple. Gartner says total smartphone sales in the States rose 42% in the period.

source: Bloomberg via Phandroid

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