Apple must pay university $323m in damages

Apple patents on display at the World Intellectual Property Organisation headquarters in Geneva. The court ruled that Apple chips used in some of its mobile devices incorporated technology patented in 1998.
Apple patents on display at the World Intellectual Property Organisation headquarters in Geneva. The court ruled that Apple chips used in some of its mobile devices incorporated technology patented in 1998.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO • A United States jury has declared that Apple owes US$234 million (S$323 million) in damages for infringing on mobile chip technology patented by University of Wisconsin researchers.

"This is a case where the hard work of our university researchers and the integrity of patenting and licensing discoveries has prevailed," said Dr Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the non-profit Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (Warf) which brought the suit.

"The jury recognised the seminal computer processing work that took place on our campus."

Apple declined to comment on last Friday's jury award but said it planned to appeal the outcome to a higher court.

The California-based technology titan maintained throughout the civil trial that the patent at issue is not valid and the company did not infringe on it.

"Although patent verdicts like this one are typically appealed, we hope to continue to work with Apple to resolve this matter and build a stronger relationship between our two institutions," Dr Gulbrandsen said.

Warf argued in court that Apple chips used in some of its popular mobile devices incorporated technology patented in 1998 for improving efficiency and performance of microprocessors.

At issue were A7, A8 and A8X chip designs used in some newer iPhone models as well as in several versions of the iPad, according to Warf.

The foundation manages patents for the university with a mission to support research there.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2015, with the headline 'Apple must pay university $323m in damages'. Print Edition | Subscribe