Apple ordered to pay university $506m in patent fight

Apple has been ordered by a judge to pay $506 million for infringing a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent licensing arm — more than doubling the damages initially imposed on Apple by a jury.

Reuters reported that US District Judge William Conley in Madison added $272 million to a $234 million jury verdict the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) won against Apple in October 2015.

The judge said WARF is owed additional damages plus interest because Apple continued to infringe the patent — which relates to computer processor technology — until it expired in December 2016.

Apple is appealing Conley’s ruling, according to court papers. Apple did not immediately reply to the decision.

WARF sued Apple in 2014, alleging processors found in some versions of the iPhone infringe on a patent describing a “predictor circuit” which improves processor performance by predicting what instructions a user will give the system.

University of Wisconsin professor Gurindar Sohi and three students obtained the patent in 1998.

Apple denied any infringement during a 2015 jury trial and argued the patent is invalid.

Apple also urged the US Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent’s validity — but the agency rejected that bid.

WARF brought a separate lawsuit against Apple in 2015, alleging chips in later versions of the iPhone infringe the same patent.

Conley said he would not rule in that particular case until Apple has had an opportunity to appeal the 2015 jury verdict, Reuters reported.