Saturday, October 17, 2015

U.S. Jury Orders Apple to Pay $234 Million In Patent Lawsuit

U.S. jury ordered Apple to pay the University of Wisconsin's intellectual property management arm $234 million in damages for incorporating its microchip technology into some of the company’s iPhones and iPads without permission., reports Reuters.

The amount was less than the $400 million the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) was claiming in damages after the jury on Tuesday said Apple infringed its patent for improving the performance of computer processors.

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

WARF had originally asked for damages as high as $862 million, but later lowered that request to around $400 million. Apple will be paying a little more than half of the requested amount with the $234 million award WARF received from the jury. The presiding judge ruled Apple had not willfully infringed on WARF's patent, so the damages award will stay at $234 million.

The jury was considering whether Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violated the patent.

WARF sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of its 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit,” developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students.

Much of the dispute over damages had to do with whether a certain portion of Apple’s chips that were placed in devices sold abroad, rather than in the United States, also violated the WARF patent. The jurors found that they did.

Apple had sought to greatly limit its liability, arguing before jurors that WARF deserved less than even the $110 million the foundation settled with Intel Corp after suing that company in 2008 over the same patent.

Apple had argued that WARF’s patent entitled it to as little as 7 cents per device sold, a far cry from the $2.74 that WARF was claiming.

WARF uses some of the income it generates to support research at the school, doling out more than $58 million in grants last year, according to its website.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge William Conley, who is presiding over the case, ruled that Apple had not willfully infringed WARF’s patent, eliminating a chance to triple the damages in the case.

Last month, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation launched a second lawsuit against Apple for the same patent, accusing the company of using the technology in the A9 and A9X chips found in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and iPad Pro.

For the first six months of 2015, Apple averaged a daily net profit of $134.7 million, which means the judgment will account for approximately 42 hours of profit. Apple has said it will appeal the ruling.
The Tech Zone
The Tech Zone

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