Apple Inc. found guilty of infringing a 1998 patent developed by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), told to pay $234 million by the Madison jury.
A Madison jury has finally found Apple guilty of infringing patents about microprocessor technology used in its iPhones. As the court has awarded Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the university’s licensing body more than $234 million on Friday. Though the amount awarded is obviously $165 million less that WARF was earlier seeking. Nevertheless, WARF’s legal team seem rather satisfied with the outcome.
“This is a case where the hard work of our university researchers and the integrity of patenting and licensing discoveries has prevailed,” Carl Gulbrandsen, Managing Director of WARF said in a statement.
The dispute primarily revolves around the use of a 1998 patent held by WARF, which radically improves the performance of microprocessors and also extends battery life by as much as two hours. Apple has been found infringing upon WARF patents, with the jury coming to a conclusion that the company did not pay any royalties on its A7, A8 and A8X chipsets found on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, along with a slew of iPad models.
Professor Gurindar Sohi, co-inventor of the patent was the main subject of the case, was also present in the courtroom when the verdict was made.
“For Dr. Sohi, I hope you felt that your invention was vindicated,” said U.S. District Judge William Conley, who presided over the trial.
Apple for obvious reasons denied to make any official statement about the verdict, though the company’s spokesperson Rachel Tulley did mention that the iPhone maker plans to appeal. The company’s lawyer argued that the amount should be a fraction of $110m settlement made between WARF and Intel over the same patent in 2009.
More damages could have been levied on Apple, as WARF also asserted that the company deliberately infringed on its patent. Though after hearing testimonies from Apple’s witnesses, Judge Conley rebuked the willfulness claim. And the jury decided that Apple had willfully violated these patents, and the amount in damages could have tripled.
To recall, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) sued Apple in January last year, claiming that the company had infringed upon its patents. While just last month, it filed a second lawsuit against the Cupertino giant’s latest A9 and A9X chipsets found on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus along with the forthcoming iPad of infringing the same patent.