By Eric Schweibenz
On September 22, 2011, S3 Graphics Co., Ltd. of the Grand Cayman Islands and S3 Graphics, Inc. of Fremont, California (collectively, “S3G”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. a/k/a Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, California (“Apple”) unlawfully imports into the U.S., sells for importation, and/or sells within the U.S. after importation certain electronic devices with graphics data processing systems, components thereof, and associated software that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,945,997 (the ‘997 patent) and 5,581,279 (the ‘279 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”).

According to the complaint, the asserted patents generally relate to apparatuses and methods for graphical data processing, including retrieval, manipulation, and storage of graphical data.  In particular, the ‘997 patent relates to methods and systems for tile based pixel data processing.  The ‘279 patent relates to controller methods and systems for selectively moving and converting digital video data into analog video signals. 

In the complaint, S3G states that Apple imports and sells products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically names the Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple desktop and notebook computers—in combination with associated software—as infringing products.

Regarding domestic industry, S3G states that S3 Graphics, Inc. employs a work force in the U.S. that conducts research, development, engineering, product design, support, and repair for S3 Graphics, Inc.’s products that practice the asserted patents, including at least the Chrome series of graphics products.  According to the complaint, S3 Graphics, Inc. makes significant investments in plant, equipment, labor, engineering, and research and development in the U.S. in connection with its research, development, design, technical support, and repair of products that practice the asserted patents.  As additional support for S3G’s domestic industry allegations in the instant complaint, S3G cites to ALJ E. James Gildea’s finding in Inv. No. 337-TA-724 that S3G had satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement in that investigation.  See our April 7, 2011 post for more details on the domestic industry determination in the 724 investigation.

As to related litigation, S3G states that the asserted patents are also the subject of an action for patent infringement that it filed against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

With respect to potential remedy, S3G requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order directed at Apple.