A jury unanimously declared Apple guilty of infringing a patent owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
Apple lost a legal battle against the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, over a patent infringement case that alleges the iPhone maker of using without permission a patented technology on its chips. The jury unanimously declared Apple guilty of infringing WARF’s patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752), which is for a table-based data speculation circuit for parallel processing.
The defendant, Apple, failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that the accusations were invalid, the jury said. Apple could end up paying over $862 million in damages, according to U.S. District Judge, William Conley, who is leading the case. The trial, Conley says, has three phases: liability, damages, and a final decision that can lead to enhanced penalties.
WARF sued Apple in January 2014, claiming that its patent was used on the A7, A8, and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. The patent was also used on some models of the iPad, it said. A second lawsuit was filed by WARF in September, alleging that Apple’s latest processers—the A9 and A9X used in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus—also infringed the “752” patent.
Although Apple denied committing any infringement, some of its patent applications mentions the “752” patent, proving that the tech giant is cognizant of its existence. Apple went on to submit a petition asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the validity of the patent, but failed to convince the agency. The jury perused the case last week and decided on Tuesday that Apple violated six patent claims.
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The University of Wisconsin-Madison received the intellectual property rights to the patent in 1998. The same year, WARF filed a lawsuit against Intel for using the same patent on the chipmaker’s Core 2 Duo processor. Intel said that it had rights to use the patent because it funded the research and development of the technology. Intel eventually paid over $110 million to WARF to acquire licenses of the patent. Apple has yet to release a statement.