Apple ordered to pay $234m to university for infringing patent
A US jury has ordered Apple Inc to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent licensing arm more than $234m (£151.5m) in damages for incorporating its microchip technology into some of the company’s iPhones and iPads without permission.
The amount imposed on Friday was less than the $400m the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (Warf) was claiming in damages, after the jury on Tuesdaysaid Apple infringed its patent for improving the performance of computer processors.
Apple said it would appeal against the verdict, but declined to comment further. A representative for Warf could not immediately be reached.
Jurors deliberated for about three and a half hours before returning the verdict in the closely watched case in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin. It was the second phase of a trial that began on 5 October.
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 so-called 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 US, also violated the foundation’s 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 $110m the foundation had agreed with Intel Corpafter suing that company in 2008 over the same patent.
Apple had argued that Warf’s patent entitled it to as little as seven cents per device sold, a far cry from the $2.74 that the foundation was claiming.
Warf uses some of the income it generates to support research at the school, doling out more than $58m in grants last year, according to its website.
On Thursday, US district judge William Conley, who is presiding over the case, ruled that Apple had not wilfully infringed Warf’s patent, eliminating a chance to triple the damages in the case.
Last month, Warf launched a second lawsuit against Apple, this time targeting the company’s newest chips and devices, the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro.