vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

University of Wisconsin gets $506 million damages from Apple

by Mark Tyson on 27 July 2017, 11:01

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadj2p

Add to My Vault: x

Please log in to view Printer Friendly Layout

Back in October 2015 Apple was found guilty of infringing a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm. The jury verdict awarded $234 million in damages to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

On Monday a US District judge more than doubled these damages as Apple continued to infringe the patent, even after that previous ruling, until it expired in December 2016. US District Judge William Conley in Madison added $272 million to the previous $234 million jury verdict, adding up to a total of $506 million.

The particular patent under scrutiny in this case involves a 'predictor circuit' that can enhance computer processing. The circuit was patented by University of Wisconsin professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students back in 1998.

More specifically Patent No. U.S. 5,781,752 held by WARF describes a table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing that "permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected at the final stages of processing. Synchronization of dependent instructions is provided by a table creating entries for each instance of potential dependency. Table entries are created and deleted dynamically to limit total memory requirements."

So the US court upheld WARF's assertion that Apple has been using the above tech without any credit given or royalties being paid. Apple A7, A8, and A8X processors were under scrutiny by the court in this particular case. If you are wondering about newer Apple SoC designs, WARF has brought a separate lawsuit regarding chips in newer iDevices but the judge isn't going to start considering this until Apple has had an opportunity to appeal the 2015 jury verdict, reports Reuters.

Research isn't cheap to do, and the University of Wisconsin has an annual R&D expenditure of approx $1.1 billion. Apple is appealing the decision but it hasn't commented on the court rulings.



HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Such broad-reaching and all encompassing patents should not be allowed. That being said I am no expert in such advanced technological speak. But it seems absurd.
NorBdelta
Such broad-reaching and all encompassing patents should not be allowed. That being said I am no expert in such advanced technological speak. But it seems absurd.

?? so if you spend 2-5 yrs working on something and then someone else come along and borrows it without asking it's ok ?
flearider
NorBdelta
Such broad-reaching and all encompassing patents should not be allowed. That being said I am no expert in such advanced technological speak. But it seems absurd.

?? so if you spend 2-5 yrs working on something and then someone else come along and borrows it without asking it's ok ?

Yep, if you cant be bothered to develop or use a patent after nearly 20 years then why hold back others. The research was probably funded with public money anyway so should be available to all US companies/individuals.
GhostSquirrel
Yep, if you cant be bothered to develop or use a patent after nearly 20 years then why hold back others. The research was probably funded with public money anyway so should be available to all US companies/individuals.

Can't argue with that! But I also can't pretend it isn't nice to see apple feeling a little heat over their so called “inventions”
GhostSquirrel
Yep, if you cant be bothered to develop or use a patent after nearly 20 years then why hold back others. The research was probably funded with public money anyway so should be available to all US companies/individuals.

True, although the whole point of a patent IS to make it publicly available, but protects the IPR for a specific period of time for the patent holder to either exploit it themselves, or allow others to exploit under the terms of a licensing agreement.

So as the UoW had a patent, they are able to dictate the terms on which their IPR is used.

The fine was doubled after Apple continued to infringe the Patent after the first court case. While its not stated, I expect the UoW informed Apple before going to court in the first place, so they would have had ample opportunity to come to a licensing agreement.

So I'm afraid no sympathy from me for Apple over this.