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Apple Could Be Forced to Pay Nearly $900 Million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison

A jury decided on Tuesday that a chip used in the company's popular iPhones and iPads illegally uses efficiency technology that the university patented in 1998.

by Reuters and VICE News
Oct 14 2015, 9:20pm

Photo by Monica Davey/EPA

Apple faces up to $862.4 million in damages after a jury found that the company used technology patented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's licensing arm in its products without permission.

The university sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of a patent for improving chip efficiency that it was granted in 1998. The jury had been considering whether Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors — which are found in the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad — violate the patent.

Throughout the trial, Apple denied any infringement and argued the patent is invalid. Apple had previously tried to convince the US Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent's validity, but the agency rejected the bid in April.

Related: This Computer Worm Could Break Into Your Mac Without You Even Knowing

The jury decided on Tuesday that the patent is rightfully owned by the university, not by Apple. The trial will now proceed to determine how much Apple will have to pay in damages for its unauthorized use of the technology. In July, it was reported that the company's supply of cash amounted to more than $200 billion.

US District Judge William Conley arranged the next phase of the trial to determine liability, damages, and whether Apple infringed the patent willfully, which could lead to enhanced penalties.

The university launched a second lawsuit against Apple last month, this time targeting the company's newest chips, the A9 and A9X, which are used in the just-released iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, as well as the iPad Pro. It previously sued Intel in 2008 for infringing on the same patent, but later settled out of court. Court documents indicate that Intel paid the university a lump sum of $110 million to license the patent.

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