VIA latest to sue Apple over patents

Puts the boot in over three patents which cover “microprocessor functionality"
Kerry Butters


VIA Technologies is the latest company to jump on the patent bandwagon, as the firm announced yesterday that it has begun legal proceedings against Apple.

The chip-making firm claims that Apple is infringing on three patents which cover “microprocessor functionality” featured in Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV devices.

The complaint was filed yesterday with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and the US District Court of Delaware.

The suit takes into account the devices listed above as well as “associated software”.

“VIA has built up an extensive IP portfolio consisting of over 5,000 patents as a result of significant investments in world class technology research and development,” Wenchi Chen, CEO, VIA Technologies, said in a press release.

“We are determined to protect our interests and the interests of our stockholders when our patents are infringed upon.”

One of the three patents in question is for the “method and apparatus for double operand load” and the others are for an “instruction set for bi-directional conversion and transfer of integer and floating point data.”

VIA primarily manufacture chipsets and motherboards, and the company is based in Taipai in Taiwan.

Patent battles appear to have become the norm this year as Apple fights it out with Samsung over the Galaxy line. So far, the company has been successful in getting the Galaxy 10.1 banned in Germany, and in action in the Netherlands against the Galaxy S smartphone.

In retaliation to this, Samsung has filed a complaint in France against Apple, also claiming patent infringement. And the South Korean company is already preparing patents to fire at the next-gen iPhone before it’s even released.

In addition, as we reported earlier this week, Microsoft has been signing a number of deals over the past few years claiming certain open source software infringes on its intellectual property.

The latest in that case was Casio, who signed early in the week to protect themselves against court action in the future from MS over its use of Linux in some equipment.

HTC also recently filed a complaint against Apple, arguing that the Cupertino company’s use of Wi-Fi and processor technology infringes on patents it recently acquired from Google.

The mobile device market is a fiercely competitive space and we expect to see much more legal wrangling in the future, however ridiculous it all seems to be becoming.

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