Apple loses processor patent lawsuit to University of Wisconsin and faces $862M in damages


CUPERTINO,CA- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) The tech giant has been accused of non-authorized use of processor technology that belongs to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, resulting to a US$892 million fine.

Apple could be in serious trouble, after a US jury on Tuesday discovered that the company had been using technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its iPhones and iPads.

The case concerns all A7, A8 and A8X processors that have been used in the iPhone 5S, 6, Plus and various iPads. In general, Apple is known to have numerous open disputes on patents, but, according to this one, the company infringed a 1998 patent held by the University of Wisconsin. The damage has been calculated to around US$862 million.

As it seems, this is not a new case. In fact, it was brought in January 2014 by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s body for licensing technology invented by the university’s researchers.

Reuters reports that the case was split into three sections (liability, damages, and willful infringement), with the latter being determined at a later date and potentially upping the cost of the loss for Apple. The Cupertino giant has that the patent is valid according to court papers. Interestingly enough, the American tech giant attempted to convince the US Patent and Trademark office to examine the patent’s validity but the bid was rejected in April.

In more details, the patent that is now being questioned is US Patent No. 5,781,752 for a “Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer” and it has been designed to make processors more power efficient by using a branch predictor.

And that’s not the end of it. It seems that this was only the beginning, as according to Reuters, WARF filed another lawsuit last month regarding the same patent violation on the A9 and A9X chips.

Neither of the two parties has issued any comments on the verdict while they both remain strategically silent for now.

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