Apple Inc. has lost lawsuit on a processor patent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and could be facing up to $862 million in damages. The US jury found that Apple used a technology that is owned by the university’s licensing arm without permission. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) had sued Apple in January 2014 for the infringement of its 1998 patent, that improves the efficiency of a chip.
The jury was considering if Apple’s A7, A8, and A8X processors violate the patent. These processors are found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and 6 Plus along with several versions of the iPad. Apple denied any infringement and said that the patent was invalid. It had also asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent’s validity, but the agency had rejected the bid in April.
US District Judge William Conley, who is presiding over the case, has scheduled the trial to proceed in three phases: liability, damages, and whether Apple infringed upon the patent willfully. If Apple is found to have infringed upon the patent willfully, it could lead to further penalties.
WARF had earlier used the patent to sue Intel Corp. in 2008, but the case was settled the following year on the day before the trial. Last month, WARF launched a second lawsuit against Apple. The new lawsuit targeted the A9 as well as the A9X processors that are being used in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and the iPad Pro.
Earlier this year, Indian firm iVoice Ventures had filed a lawsuit against Apple over the ‘iPhone’ brand. iVoice owns the ‘iFon’ trademark and challenged all of Apple’s iPhone marks and applications in the country. Before this, Apple was also facing a lawsuit accusing it of falsely advertising the storage capacity available on iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The lawsuit said that the large data footprint of the iOS 8 operating system eats into the advertised capacity of Apple’s mobile devices. The suit also alleged that that Apple delivered advertisements for its paid iCloud online storage when a device's storage space is almost full.
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