Apple schooled with £388m fine in University of Wisconsin patent dispute

27 July, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • WARF sued Apple in 2014 of infringing on a patent of a predictor circuit that improves processor performance

Apple has been ordered to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm a sum of $506m (£387.49m). According to Reuters, in a surprise move today the judge almost doubled the $234 million put forward by the jury after first being hit with $862.4 million in damages when originally found guilty in 2015.

The original case covered Apple's use of the invention in its A7, A8 and A8X processors, which are found in devices including the iPhone 5S and the iPad Air 2. "This decision is great news for the inventors, the University of Wisconsin-Madison [UW] and for WARF".

Apple is appealing the ruling and has not yet commented on today's findings. Apple requested that the U.S. Patent office review the validity of the patent but that request was turned down.

Apple was originally found guilty in 2015 and faced damages of up to $862 million. But this week, court records show U.S. District Judge William Conley added $272 million to that for a total of $506,084,992.66.

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The company allegedly continued to infringe upon the patent until it expired in December 2016 without paying what they owed WARF due to which the amount payable was increased.

The said patent has to do with a unique "predictor circuit" that aims to predict the next processor instructions that the user is likely to issue.

Apple doesn't lose patent-related court battles very often, but ironically, those that manage to defeat the Cupertino-based tech giant in intellectual property infringement cases from time to time are little-known companies and... universities rather than top industry rivals. That number was later slashed t0 $234 after a judge ruled Apple had not willfully infringed on the patent. Conley said he would only announce a ruling in that case after Apple has had an opportunity to appeal the 2015 jury verdict.

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