Apple ordered to pay $506 million in damages to University of Wisconsin-Madison for patent infringement

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 26 Jul 2017
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Apple has been accused by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for infringing its 1998 patent describing predictor circuit to improve the overall efficiency of the processor. A US judge has now ruled that Apple continues to infringe the patent and owes additional damages.

Apple ordered to pay $506 million in damages to University of Wisconsin-Madison for patent infringement

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Apple has been ordered by a US judge to pay $506 million in damages for infringing patents owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm. Reuters reports that the US judge more than doubled the damages initially imposed by case's jury on Apple.

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation had sued Apple in 2014 alleging the latter to infringing its 1998 patent for improving chip efficiency. WARF had alleged that Apple's custom processors infringed its patent that describes the function of predictor circuit. Apple's A7, A8 and A8X chips found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and various iPads use predictor circuit to improve the overall efficiency of the processor.

In October 2015, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation won the patent lawsuit and the jury declared that Apple owed $234 million in damage. However, US District Judge William Conley has added $272 million to the initial $234 million jury verdict as additional damages plus interest. Conley said WARF is owed $506 million because Apple continued to infringe the patent until it expired in December 2016.

Apple plans to appeal against Conley's ruling but it is yet to officially comment on the judgement. Apple had denied any infringement during the 2015 jury trial and called the patent to be invalid. The patent was obtained by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students in 1998.

The judgement should come as a setback for Apple, which urged US Patent and Trademark Office to review the validity of WARF's patent. The company is also engaged in a similar battle with Qualcomm and the trial is expected to begin by the end of this year.

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