Apple must cough up $506 million for infringing university patent

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A8 chip
Apple's A8 processor violated University of Wisconsin's patent.
Photo: Apple

Apple has been ordered to pay $506 million in damages after infringing a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A U.S. judge ruled that the Cupertino company was guilty of using processor technology it did not own in its A-series chips for iPhone and iPad. The sum of damages is more than double that awarded by a jury last October.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation sued Apple in 2014 for allegedly using technology it has designed to improve the performance of its mobile chips. Its patent describes a “predictor circuit,” which predicts which instructions a user will give the system.

Apple denied infringement during a patent trial last year, but in October, a jury awarded WARF $234 million in damages. It was significantly less than the $862 million it was originally seeking, but WARF described the ruling as “great news.”

Since then, however, Apple continued to infringe the patent until it expired in December 2016. As a result, U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison added $272 million to the original sum for additional damages plus interest, Reuters reports.

Apple’s guilty chips include the A7, A8, and A8X, which can be found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, as well as a number of iPad variants. Some sources say the company will appeal the decision, but it yet to make an official comment.

Apple previously argued that WARF’s patent was invalid. It asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review its validity, but its bid was rejected.