Intellectual Property

August 02, 2017

Apple asked to pay 506 million dollars to University of Wisconsin


A US judge has ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for infringing a patent owned by the University. The University won this particular case in October 2015 and the jury had then asked Apple to pay a fine of $234 million. The latest order however has more than doubled the fine to 506 million dollars. Judge William Conley in his order said that the University was entitled to additional damages because Apple continued to infringe on the University’s patent until it expired in December 2016. Apple is appealing the ruling, according to the court papers, but no official statements have been released by Apple in this regard.

US District Judge William Conley in Madison added $272 million to a $234 million jury verdict the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation won against Apple in October 2015. Conley said WARF is owed additional damages plus interest because Apple continued to infringe the patent, which relates to computer processor technology, until it expired in December 2016.

Apple is appealing Conley's ruling, according to court papers. An Apple spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

WARF sued Apple in 2014, alleging processors found in some versions of the iPhone infringe on a patent describing a "predictor circuit," which improves processor performance by predicting what instructions a user will give the system. University of Wisconsin computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students obtained the patent in 1998.

Cupertino, California-based Apple denied any infringement during a 2015 jury trial and argued the patent is invalid. Apple also urged the US Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent's validity but the agency rejected that bid.

WARF brought a separate lawsuit against Apple in 2015, alleging chips in later versions of the iPhone infringe the same patent. Conley said he would not rule in that case until Apple has had an opportunity to appeal the 2015 jury verdict.

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