A U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge today ruled that Apple infringes two patents of S3 Graphics.
"S3 Graphics is pleased to win this portion of the ITC investigation," said Dr. Ken Weng, CEO of S3 Graphics.
Judge E. James Gildea found that Apple infringes U.S. Patent No. 6,658,146 directed to systems and methods for compressing images and U.S. Patent No. 6,683,978 directed to image data formats, both of which belong to S3 Graphics. In the industry, that technology is known as S3 Texture Compression (S3TC).
"S3 Graphics has a long history of designing graphics processor chips and technology," said Dr.Weng. "S3 Texture Compression has been implemented in over 1 billion computers, game consoles and mobile devices worldwide. S3 Texture Compression is invaluable for advanced 3-D video graphics."
Apple has not commented on ITC's ruling.
S3 Texture Compression is widely licensed and implemented. Since 1998, Microsoft has licensed and implemented the S3 Graphics technology in DirectX products and now Windows 7. Sony, Nintendo and others have also licensed and used the technology in their video game consoles and other products.
S3 Graphics filed its ITC complaint in May 2010, and an eight-day trial was held in March 2011. Judge Gildea's decision will become the ITC's final decision on Nov. 1, 2011, unless modified by a majority vote of the ITC Commissioners.
The case is Certain Electronic Devices With Image Processing Systems, Components Thereof, and Associated Software, ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-724.