In 2015, Apple was sued for allegedly using a technology developed by a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison without their permission. It was used on their A7 and A8 chips. Apple lost the patent case and was ordered to pay $234 million. Since Apple continued to use the technology, the sum that it owes to the Wisconsin University has risen to a whopping $506 million. The additional charges and interest levied increased the amount.
In 1998, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation acquired a patent for its technology which focused on improving chip efficiency. According to the foundation, Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X chips found in iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and a number of iPad models have violated the patent. Initially, Apple had asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to inspect the validity of the patent. However, after close examination, its request was denied. When Apple was found guilty in 2015, it was liable for damages up to $862 million. However, it was found that their attempt to infringe the University’s technology was not deliberate. Due to this, the number was scaled down to $234 million. It included supplemental damages of $1.61 per infringing unit sold through October 26, 2015. Ongoing royalties were charged at $2.74 per infringing unit sold from October 27, 2015.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation sued Apple in another lawsuit in 2015. It said that A9 and A9X chips used in iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro also violate the same patent.
Apple has appealed the Jury’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit situated in Washington D.C. There have been no comments on today’s findings from them yet.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has been lucrative in the previous cases of similar nature. In 2008, it sued Intel on similar grounds. The case was settled outside the court one day before the trial.