Intellectual Property

Apple Fined $234 Million for Infringing University Patent

23 Oct 2015

2 min read

Apple has been found guilty of infringing a patent which, is owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), for an invention that improves the efficiently and speed of processors.  A US Court awarded $234 Million in damages to WARF.

The jury had to decide whether Apple’s processors, which are found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violated the patent. The decision was that Apple had in fact incorporated patented microchip technology in the mentioned devices.

The amount which was granted as damages was less than that initially claimed, and the reason being that Apple had not wilfully infringed the patent.

Apple said that it would appeal the verdict but declined to comment further.

WARF sued Apple in January 2014 whereby it alleged that its 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit”, developed by one of its professors and three students, had been infringed.  One of the main disputes was whether a certain portion of Apple’s chips placed in its devices sold abroad, rather than the US, violated WARF patent.  The Court found that it did.

The managing director of WARF has said that “This is a case where the hard work of our university researchers and the integrity of patenting and licensing discoveries has prevailed.” This decision is therefore great news for the inventors, the University and WARF.

WARF has also filed a second lawsuit against Apple, targeting the Company’s newest chips and devices – the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPad Pro.

One may conclude that despite recent truces between giant tech companies, aggressive Court case battles are still prevalent, globally.

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