Technology giant and household name Apple could soon be expected to pay out over $800m in damages over a patent dispute with the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding a patent infringement about one of the chips found in some Apple devices.
The case against Apple was filed by representatives of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) over what the Foundation felt was a major infringement of its 1988 patent which proposed a model for improving the efficiency of a chip.
According to Reuters, WARF filed the lawsuit against Apple back in 2014, asking the jury in the case whether it believed that the A7, A8 and A8X processors featured in some of the latest Apple iPhone and iPad models were in violation of the 1988 patent.
After almost two years of jury deliberation, it appears that WARF have won the battle against the tech giant, with the jury ruling against Apple for patent infringement and WARF also including another, additional lawsuit against Apple for the A9, the current generation processor which is used in devices such as the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and the iPad Pro.
It is no surprise that Apple has refuted the claims against them by WARF, countering with the argument that WARF’s 1988 patent is invalid. However, despite Apple calling upon the court to review the validity of the patent, the claim was rejected back in April.
This will not be the first time that WARF has taken a major tech company to court regarding the infringement of this same 1988 patent. Back in 2008, they filed a lawsuit against Intel for the same patent claim, however Intel decided to settle out of court before the trial began.
Apple and Lawsuits
As one of the world’s largest tech companies, it is no surprise that Apple are constantly fighting a number of lawsuits filed against them. Prior to this case, Apple recently found themselves in a lawsuit battle with battery maker A123 Systems when the latter accused the tech giants of poaching their employees. A123 alleged that Apple were systematically hiring away their highly-skilled employees in order to shut down projects at A123 and build a competing battery building business. Apple denied any wrongdoing, however the two companies managed to reach a final agreement in the four-year legal battle.
If WARF win the lawsuit, Apple will be expected to pay around $862m in damages as well as make changes to future processors in their products.