Apple always has a few irons in the patent suit fire. It's battling Samsung right now over alleged trademark and patent infringement for instance. Samsung has recently said it's not copying, but competing with Apple in that ongoing case. Apple also apparently had a legal action going on with S3 Graphics over patents that Apple allegedly infringed on.
The US ITC ruled recently that Apple is in fact infringing on two patents held by S3 Graphics. The two patents are U.S. Patent No. 6,683,978 that has to do with image data formats and U.S. Patent No. 6,658,146. That latter patent has to do with directed systems and methods for compressing images. Apparently, the S3 Texture Compression is a commonly licensed patent in the tech world.
The patent is already licensed by Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and others.
"S3 Graphics is pleased to win this portion of the ITC investigation," said Dr. Ken Weng, CEO of S3 Graphics. "S3 Graphics has a long history of designing graphics processor chips and technology," said Dr.Weng. "S3 Texture Compression has been implemented in over 1 billion computers, game consoles and mobile devices worldwide. S3 Texture Compression is invaluable for advanced 3-D video graphics."