Judge Increases Award to WARF in Apple Patent Case to $506M
A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Apple must pay an additional $272 million to the organization that manages patents and licensing of intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for infringing one of its patents, according to court documents.
The additional award follows a court ruling in October 2015 ordering Cupertino, CA-based Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to pay $234 million in damages to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). U.S. District Judge William Conley upheld the court’s decision last month.
The award was increased to more than $506 million because Apple did not stop infringing WARF’s patent after the 2015 ruling, court documents show. Apple continued to violate the patent until it expired in December 2016 and now owes additional damages and interest to WARF, according to court documents.
The patent involves technology designed to make processors run faster by having them execute commands out of order.
In a statement e-mailed to Xconomy, WARF said that it “will continue to defend the work of the university researchers and WARF’s patent in this case should Apple file an appeal.” If Apple does appeal, the case would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., WARF said.
A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to a message asking if the company planned to appeal the court’s latest ruling.
WARF also sued microprocessor maker Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) in 2008, but the two sides reportedly settled shortly before a trial was set to begin. WARF had claimed that Intel violated the same patent involved in the WARF-Apple case.
UW-Madison computer sciences professor Gurindar Sohi and three graduate students developed the technology that led to the patent, which was issued in 1998.
WARF sued Apple in February 2014, claiming the company incorporated patented technology into microprocessors that power some Apple-made devices, including iPhones. Prior to the 2015 ruling, WARF had been seeking $398 million, according to a report on the legal website Law360. Following the court’s ruling this week, WARF eclipsed its goal by more than $100 million.
In September 2015, WARF filed a separate lawsuit against Apple over chips it uses in the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro. Those models were not yet on the market when WARF first sued Apple the previous year. According to a Reuters report, Conley said he would not make a ruling on the newer case until Apple has gone through the appeals process with the 2014 suit.