updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu September 22, 2011
Victory could block iPhone, iPad sales in US
Taiwanese chipmaker VIA Technologies has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple, Bloomberg reports. The case was submitted yesterday through a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, and accuses Apple of violating three US patents related to microprocessors. "The products at issue generally concern microprocessors included in a variety of electronic products such as certain smartphones, tablet computers, portable media players and other computing devices," VIA court documents read.
VIA is requesting a jury trial, and an injunction barring Apple from selling infringing products in the US. While the allegedly infringing products are not yet known, VIA's wording suggests iPhones, iPods and iPads, and possibly the A-series chip designs Apple has employed in them since 2010. A US injunction would potentially cripple Apple, making a negotiated settlement far more likely.
Apple has become the focal point of a storm of patent lawsuits in the mobile industry during the last year, frequently the target, the perpetrator or both. The number of Apple-related lawsuits currently numbers in the dozens, and involves companies such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola. The plaintiffs are thought to be using the suits in defense or as anti-competitive weapons, rather than strictly as cash-grabs.