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Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Loses Patent Suit to UW

Apple’s losing streak in court continued as a jury in U.S. District Court found the company infringed on a 1998 patent held by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, when it used certain processors in the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and some iPads. InformationWeek reported that Apple has been ordered to pay $234 million in damages.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which filed the suit, was asking for $400 million. The foundation filed a second lawsuit in September, claiming Apple’s new A9 and A9X processors used in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and the iPad Pro also infringe on its patents.

Apple claimed the patent was invalid, but the jury in the Madison District Court disagreed. The research foundation also said it had offered the license to Apple for a fee.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the plaintiff made an aggressive push for willfulness enhancements,” Florian Mueller, an expert in patent-infringement lawsuits, told Forbes. “But in the past, damages awards of this proportion have typically been reduced on appeal.”

The university filed the patent for technology that enhanced the efficiency of computer processors in 1998. When the research foundation, which handles licensing of technology invented by university researchers, sued Intel for infringing on the same patent, it ended up with a $110 million lump-sum settlement.

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