A judge has ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin after ruling that the tech giant infringed upon patents registered by the the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) sued Apple in 2014 over their implementation of its A7, A8, and A8X processing chips, which WARF alleged had infringed upon U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752. In 2015, a Wisconsin jury found that Apple had co-opted proprietary technology made possible by the patent, a “table based data speculation circuit.” This decision resulted in a $234 million payout for WARF.
On Tuesday, US District Judge William Conley signed an order that will require Apple to pay the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation $1.61 per unit the iPad and iPhone devices that utilize those processing chips. A portion of Apple’s device sales will have an additional $2.74 per unit for WARF based on the judgment. The order from Judge Conley will pay the WARF’s an additional $506 million in royalties due to Apple’s use of their patent in iPad and iPhone devices.
Due to some files in the court order being redacted, it is unclear how many units the royalty fee was applied to. Apple has already filed papers to appeal the judge’s decision.
According to Ars Technica, WARF was one of the first university research groups to engage in patent litigation with big firms who they believed have infringed upon their semiconductor technology. Since 2002, WARF has successfully sued a number of big tech firms, including Siemens, AMD, and Intel. Each of these companies settled with WARF outside of court.
Despite high volume of lawsuits, WARF has worked amicably with Silicon Valley giants willing to pay a license to use their patented technology. In the past, the University of Wisconsin has licensed their patented technology Intel, Sony Corp., Hitachi, amongst others.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org