Apple must pay $506 million to a university over a patent dispute

A US district judge has ordered that Apple must pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for infringing on a patent owned by a research foundation that manages patents on the University's behalf. The ruling, which forms part of a two-year patent dispute, more than doubles the amount that Apple was ordered to pay in an initial court ruling on the matter.

The patent was originally filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and pertains to a piece of processor technology known as "predictor circuit", which is used to improve processor performance by predicting a user's instructions.

A court first ruled that Apple was guilty of infringing on the patent back in 2015, through the company's use of the processor technology in the A7, A8, and A8X processors found in iPhone and iPad models. Apple was subsequently ordered to pay $234 million as a result.

The same district judge who adjudicated the initial ruling, William Conley, has added an extra $272 million to the initial damages in a ruling this Monday, bringing the total owed by Apple to $506 million. Conley reportedly stated that WARF is owed the extra damages because the Cupertino-based company continued to infringe upon the patent from after the 2015 ruling, until its expiration in 2016.

The total figure is lower than the original maximum damages for the trial, which were set at $862 million, but were subsequently limited as it was found that Apple's original infringement was unintentional. WARF also launched an additional lawsuit against Apple in 2015, claiming the same patent had been infringed by use of the technology in Apple's A9 and A9X processors.

Apple, whose previous requests for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent's validity were rejected, is reportedly appealing Conley's latest ruling in the federal circuit.

Source: Reuters via The Verge |Money Gavel Image via Shutterstock

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