HTC does not own anti-Apple patents

There is a twist in the story about HTC suing Apple using some graphics patents it had lying around.

Earlier this year, HTC decided to launch a counter attack on Apple to the tune of $300 million.

In 2010, when Apple sued HTC for infringing 20 of its patents, HTC said it would defend itself vigorously. The odds were against it when Apple’s fellow proprietary ally Microsoft gave Jobs’ Mob its support.

HTC hunted around and counter attacked by buying graphics stalwart S3. S3 developed some technology that ended up under the bonnet of DirectX on Windows. It was also used by Sony and Nintendo for their consoles.

It seemed that HTC suddenly had a pile of patents that could be used against Apple.

According to Roughly Drafted, the twist is that S3 might not have had the patents in the first place. AMD claims that ATI purchased the patents from S3 “years ago” and can provide the complete ownership papers, mileage and service history.

It means that the only way HTC could still use the “S3 patents” to attack Apple is if AMD allowed it, and apparently that is not going to happen.

AMD gets on rather well with Jobs’ Mob and will not sue one of its customers.

If that is the case, then HTC’s fight against Apple could be as stable as the Christchurch Cathedral or the Greek economy.