As first noted by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, S3 has accused Apple of violating two new patents originally applied for in the 1990s. They are:
U.S. Patent No. 5,945,997: "Block- and band-oriented traversal in three-dimensional triangle rendering," granted in 1999.
U.S. Patent No. 5,581,279, "VGA controller circuitry," granted in 1996.
As is par for such complaints, S3 has asked that Apple products it believes are infringing -- including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac computers -- be barred from sale. A complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission was accompanied by a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the district of Delaware.
The lawsuit filed on Thursday with the ITC is the second complaint S3 Graphics has lodged against Apple. S3 won a partial victory in that complaint in July, as a judge determined Apple infringed on two out of four patents cited in the case.
Apple responded early this year with its own patent infringement suit filed against S3 in January. HTC then acquired S3 Graphics for $300 million, giving it a potential legal counter in its own, separate ongoing legal battles with Apple.
In July, an initial ruling from the ITC found that HTC had violated two patents owned by Apple related to the iPhone. Apple had originally accused HTC of violating 10 patents in total.