Apple facing US$862m lawsuit over chip patent infringement

14 Oct 2015

Apple could soon be expected to pay US$862m in damages over a patent dispute with the University of Wisconsin-Madison over a patent infringement about one of the chips found in its devices.

The case against Apple was filed by representatives of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) over what the latter felt was a major infringement of its 1998 patent that proposed a model for improving a chip’s efficiency.

According to Reuters, WARF filed the lawsuit back in 2014, with the jury in the case asked whether it believed Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors that were featured in the iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus violated the patent.

And it appears that after almost two years of deliberation, the jury has ruled against Apple for the patent infringement, with WARF also including an additional lawsuit against Apple for its current generation processor, the A9 used in the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Apple has refuted the claims made by WARF and has countered with the argument that WARF’s patent is invalid, but despite calling on the court to review its validity, its claim was rejected back in April.

This will not be the first time that WARF has taken a major tech company to trial as, back in 2008, they also took Intel to court over the same patent claim, but Intel decided to settle out of court before the trial began.

As one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple is continually fighting lawsuits, with the most recent one prior to this taking place last May after Apple were accused of poaching employees from A123 Systems.

Apple A8 processor image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic