Apple faces $862 million fine for infringing university’s patent

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Apple faces a heavy fine.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple may face $862 million in damages for allegedly infringing on a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent-licensing wing, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

The Apple technologies that take advantage of said patent for increased processor efficiency? None other than the A7, A8 and A8X chips, which are found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus handsets, as well as several iPad models.

Uh-oh.

A jury ruled Tuesday that Apple used the 1998 patent without permission. The next stage of the trial will establish exactly how much Apple owes in damages. The figure that Apple owes could increase if it is shown that the company willfully, rather than accidentally, infringed on the patent.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison previously sued Intel for a similar offense back in 2008, in a case that was eventually settled out of court. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has, in the past, been described as a patent troll by Business Insider, although others have disputed this.

Apple’s not off the hook just yet, though. Last month, the University of Wisconsin-Madison filed a second lawsuit against the company, claiming that it also infringes on patents owned by WARF. The offending devices this time? The iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and iPad Pro.

This could take a while…

Source: Reuters