(Mirror Daily, United States) – The University of Wisconsin-Madison has won a patent licensing suit against Apple Inc. and was paid $234 million in damages. The Silicon Valley giant was accused of incorporating their microchip technology without permission into some of Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
Still less than the $400 million claimed in damages by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the payment decided by the jury was ordered on Tuesday as WARF claimed Apple infringed its patent in order to enhance the performance of their computer processors.
Apple is said to appeal the verdict; Carl Gulbrandsen, WARF’s Managing Director applauded the verdict, saying that it’s important for the university’s inventions to be protected by unauthorized use. The case was closely watched in the federal court in Madison, Wisconsin, as jurors deliberated for about 3 hours before declaring the verdict.
The jury was to decide whether or not Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors – used in the last three generations of iPhone and several models of iPads – was in violation of the patent. The suit was first filed in January 2014 claiming Apple was infringing its 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit,” developed at the university by Gurindar Sohi, a professor of computer science and three of his students.
Jurors settled the dispute over violation in damages that happened abroad rather than in the U.S., as Apple had used a certain portion of Apple’s chips in sold devices; the jury found them guilty of infringing the WARF patent.
On their part, Apple sought to limit its liability by arguing that the foundation didn’t deserve more than the $110 million WARF settled with Intel Corp back in 2008 for suing the company over the same patent. According to Apple’s lawyers, WARF’s patent was not worthy of the $2.74 per device sold, as it was claiming; instead, they offered 7 cents to be their highest price.
According to its website, most of the income that WARF generates is used to support research at the school, as part of the $58 million in grants they award each year. US District Judge William Conley, the president in the case, ruled on Thursday that Apple did not infringe WARF’s patent willfully, which eliminated their chance of pursuing triple damages.
In September, WARF filed a second infringement lawsuit against the tech giant, claiming their newest chips – used in the iPad Pro, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus – use the same patent.
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