Apple has been ordered to pay a whopping $506 million by a US district court for infringing the patent of a US University. The technology giant is guilty of violating a patent filed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent licensing arm. The new ruling nearly doubles the amount Apple has been ordered to pay, from the previous verdict issued against the Cupertino giant in January this year. The ruling was announced by U.S. District Judge William Conley.
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the licensing arm that fought the case against Apple won in October 2015. As reported by Reuters, Apple is believed to have continued using the technology despite the lawsuit and continued using the same till December 2016 – when the patent expired. While the initial verdict had ordered Apple to cough up $234 million, the new verdict by the judge adds $272 million to the previous amount increasing the overall amount to $540 million. Apple is said to contest the ruling and apply for an appeal. ALSO READ: Apple CEO Tim Cook promised 3 ‘big, big, big’ plants in the US: Donald Trump
The original patent for predictor circuit was obtained back in 1998 by the University of Wisconsin computer science professor Gurindar Sohi along with three of his students. The patent describes the exact feature that the Apple A-series chipsets use. The chipset can predict user input and optimize performance and improve speed accordingly. The technology, the lawsuit alleges, is used by Apple in the A7, A8 and A8X chipsets. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation had initially demanded $400 million from Apple for the infringement. ALSO READ: Apple reportedly planning to build its own flexible OLED panels for future iPhones
The amount was increased to the current $540 million as Apple continued using the patent despite the ruling in October. The additional amount acts to cover damages and extra costs and also as a penalty for Apple. The very first complaint against Apple claimed willful infringement. The Wisconsin University cited the ‘752 patent property’ in its own U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings. The suit also claimed that Apple consistently refused to requests made by the former to license the IP. ALSO READ: Neonode Airbar first impressions: This clever accessory adds touchscreen functionality to any non-touch laptop
Apple continues to deny the infringement. The university has also opened another lawsuit against Apple citing the same patent infringement used in its latest A9 and A9X chipsets too. The same US Judge has refused to announce a verdict on the second case till the appeal made by Apple in the 2015 lawsuit has arrived at a verdict. This is not the first time the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has dragged a tech company to court over the patent. Intel lost a similar lawsuit against Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation over the same chipset issue back in 2008.