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Apple Loses A7/A8 Patent Lawsuit, Could Owe University of Wisconsin Up to $862 Million

ipad_iphone_ios_8Last year, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), which protects the University of Wisconsin's intellectual rights and patents, sued Apple for infringing on one of its processor patents. According to the lawsuit, Apple used the University's technology in its A7, A8, and A8X processors included in the 2013 and 2014 iPhone and iPad lineup.

A Wisconsin jury today found Apple guilty of infringing on the patent owned by WARF, reports Reuters, and as a result, the Cupertino-based company could be forced to pay up to $862 million in damages. The jury also ruled that the patent was valid, negating Apple's argument that it was invalid and no infringement had taken place.
Cupertino, California-based Apple denied any infringement and argued the patent is invalid, according to court papers. Apple previously tried to convince the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent's validity, but in April the agency rejected the bid.

According to a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge William Conley, who is presiding over the case, Apple could be liable for up to $862.4 million in damages.
Granted in 1998, the patent in question covers a method for improving processor efficiency and is titled "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer." It lists several current and former University of Wisconsin researchers as inventors.

Now that the jury has decided Apple used the university's technology in its processors, the trial will move on to decide the damages owed. Following that, there will be a third trial phase to determine whether Apple willfully infringed on the patent, which could significantly increase the damages owed.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has also filed a second lawsuit against Apple for the same patent, accusing the company of using the technology in the A9 and A9X found in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and iPad Pro.

Tags: lawsuit, patent


Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago
Oh great, we're going to be stuck with iPhones and iPads starting at 16GB for the next three years now.
Rating: 55 Votes
11 months ago

I had no idea a University would stoop to the level of patent troll. Way to set an example for students.


Why? A University owns something. Apple 'stole' it. University has every right to sue.
Rating: 43 Votes
11 months ago

I had no idea a University would stoop to the level of patent troll. Way to set an example for students.


One great consistency we can always count on: it's always the other guy at fault... even when a judge sides with them and against Apple. Apparently patent protections should only be valid when they are Apple's patents. Otherwise, all other patents should be invalid if Apple wants to use and profit from other people's patented hard work. :rolleyes:

Can't we get someone to cue up: "Apple should just BUY the University of Wisconsin"? That usually pops by about page 3 with these patent issues.

And can't we get 3-5 someones to imply judge bribery or bias?

And 5-20 calls for invalidating this patent (though "rounded corners" and similar should be absolutely valid).

And then we need about 50+ calls for patent reform (which of course we don't do when Apple is on the winning end of a patent conflict; then it's "rah rah" and "die <other guy> die!").
Rating: 28 Votes
11 months ago
I had no idea a University would stoop to the level of patent troll. Way to set an example for students.
Rating: 23 Votes
11 months ago
So is Apple the only company using branch prediction in their CPU's?
Rating: 22 Votes
11 months ago

Nice.. They also still owe Europe 8 billion next year for tax cheating in Ireland.

Tax evasion is illegal. What Apple did was tax avoidance, which is legal. They owe Ireland nothing.
Rating: 19 Votes
11 months ago
Only lawyers win.
Rating: 19 Votes
11 months ago
Aren't institutions of higher education meant to do research to propogate information in a free society? Universities aren't businesses (at least not in the manufacturing/production sense). Was the university going to be using their patents to develop products? If this proves to be successful, this might start a trend in university suing over patents/research papers...
Rating: 17 Votes
11 months ago

Why is that?


Well Apple is trying to save as much money as possible by shipping devices that shoot 4K video with 12GB of usable storage. They'll need to pay for this somehow. It's not like they have hundreds of billions or anything. I'm only half joking.

You might be stuck if you reflexively choose to purchase the base model. Most people understand there are memory choices available to match their needs.


It was a half-joke, but seriously I have to deal with this issue so much at home and at work. Nobody listens to me and buys the cheapest iPhone possible. Then I have to help them because I'm the guy.

That makes absolutely no sense and who cares really. Are you forced to buy 16GB devices?


No but most people think if they're spending hundreds on an iPhone that it won't run out of space in 22 minutes.
Rating: 15 Votes
11 months ago
I wish I owed someone $862 million.
Rating: 15 Votes

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