Apple Loses $862M in Patent Case to University of Wisconsin

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Apple Inc. could be facing up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury on Tuesday found the company used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its iPhones and iPads.

The jury in Madison, Wisconsin, also said the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) patent, which improves processor efficiency, was in-fact valid.

Because of this the trial will now move on to determine how much Apple owes in damages.

Apple only commented that they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

In January 2014, WARF sued Apple alleging infringement of its 1998 patent for improving chip efficiency. The jury was considering whether Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violate the patent.

Cupertino, California-based Apple denied any infringement and argued the patent is invalid, according to court papers. Apple previously tried to convince the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent’s validity, but the agency rejected the bid.

The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge William Conley, who is presides over the case, Apple could be liable for up to $862.4 million in damages. Judge Conley, scheduled the trial to proceed in three phases: liability, damages, and finally, whether Apple infringed the patent willfully, which could lead to enhanced penalties.

WARF used the the same patent to sue Intel Corp. in 2008, but the case was settled the following year on the eve of trial.

WARF also launched a second lawsuit against Apple, this time targeting the company’s newest chips, the A9 and A9X, used in the just-released iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, as well as the iPad Pro.

The case (No. 14-cv-62) is Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

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