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Apple loses lawsuit, owes U. Wisconsin $862 million dollars

Apple lost the first round of a major lawsuit brought against it by the University of Wisconsin. The university alleges that Apple's processors infringe upon its patents.

Apple might have to pony up some big bucks having just lost a lawsuit, but at least this time around the money won’t go to a patent troll, but instead the University of Wisconsin.

The court case is far from over, however, as Apple will almost certainly appeal the case. The most recent round of legal battles between the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Apple Inc. was determined after a jury found that Apple had infringed on patents held by Wisconsin.

At the center of the case is the A7/A8 processors that were used in Apple’s 2013 and 2014 iPhone and iPads. The University of Wisconsin claims that Apple infringed on their technologies with the chips, and the courts have so far agreed.

Besides the older generations of iPhones and iPads, Apple is also facing a second lawsuit against WARF, this one regarding the A9 series of processors used in the current iPhone 6 and iPad pro line of devices.

The patent, entitled “Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer”, covers methods for improving processor efficiency, and was filed back in 1998. The patent lists a number of Wisconsin affiliated researchers as inventors.

Next, the courts will have to determine how much Apple owes. WARF is seeking $862 million dollars in damages, though the courts may decide that this amount is too high. In the third round, however, courts will look at whether or not Apple willfully infringed on the patent. If so, the amount of money awarded could increase substantially.

Ultimately, these cases often drag out for years, with appeals being filed and negotiations taking place behind the scenes.

Outside of the courts, Apple also tried to convince the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the patient itself was invalid. If Apple had been able to do so, the court case would have been thrown out, but ultimately the Patent Office rejected the company’s argument.