Things were looking grim for gaming in April, when the International Trade Commission decided that the Xbox 360 violated Motorola patents and the console's US future was in doubt. The agency hasn't necessarily reversed its decision, but it just gave Microsoft a significant (and possibly permanent) reprieve. The Commission has remanded Motorola's case back to the Administrative Law Judge that gave the initial ruling, which very nearly restarts the clock: a new ruling won't come for months, and the usual review process guarantees even more of a delay even if the decision once more works in Motorola's favor. Patent suit watcher Florian Mueller is now confident that the Xbox 360 won't face any real risk of a ban in 2012, at a minimum. If the new decision doesn't clear Microsoft outright, it still pushes any ruling past a Microsoft lawsuit's trial in mid-November, when Motorola might be blocked from attempting any ban using its standards-based patents. We've rarely seen a majority or total reversal of this kind of ITC patent dispute before it reaches the appeals stage, but there's a distinct chance of that flip happening here -- especially as the ITC is using Apple's successful dismissal of an S3 Graphics victory as the judge's new template.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
HTC co-founder and chair Cher Wang has said that her company plans to register and buy a host of patents in order to maintain parity with its competition. Speaking at the firm's 15th anniversary party, she said that despite being unable to use S3 Graphics' patents in ongoing litigation, the company will register and purchase patents in a variety of "different fields." It looks like we can expect to see a lot more filings at the USPTO in the future, and perhaps a few more buyouts along the way.
[Image Credit: WSJ / Zuma Press]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
HTC was exhibiting more than a bit of buyer's remorse after its acquisition of S3 Graphics went off the rails: it had used the $300 million deal to scoop up a company with a victory over Apple in a patent dispute at the ITC, only to see that decision reversed and its dreams crumble. S3 will be glad to know that HTC wants the shotgun wedding to last. The One X creator's general counsel, Grace Lei, is now promising that the buyout will wrap up at some point in the near future after "cautious assessment" of its worth. The union won't help HTC fend off escalating Apple assaults, but the 270 patents may make other companies think twice before starting a feud -- oh, and give HTC some graphics technology to improve its products.Permalink | | Email this | Comments