By Aldo Panessidi
HTC the manufacturer of the HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One V, HTC Evo, HTC Amaze smartphones and HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream tablets is buying S3 Graphics in an effort to add to its patent portfolio, as well as help defend itself from some of the lawsuit activity plaguing the electronics and software industries.
Grace Lei, HTC’s general counsel, said the company wants ownership of S3′s patents, in part, as a response to the 2011 U.S. International Trade Commission finding that Apple was in violation of various S3 patents (although this ruling was later overturned.) As Lei put it at the annual HTC shareholder’s meeting, “We think S3′s patent portfolio is valid and strong, and we have decided to complete the purchase of S3 after cautious assessment.” Lei also noted that S3 owns about 270 patents, including those licensed to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
HTC has been locked in a battle with Apple over its alleged infringement of Apple patents in its Android handsets. Apple had been able get U.S. Customs to delay shipments of the HTC One X smartphone to U.S. carriers, in effect delaying that device’s launch by two weeks.
U.S. Customs cleared the devices for shipment at the end of May. HTC is insisting that its technology does not infringe upon Apple’s patents.