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Apple ordered to pay $506 million in patent dispute

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Apple has been ordered to pay a whopping $506 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for infringing on a patent held by the latter. This is in fact nearly double what the former was initially told to pay the institution back in 2015.

The controversy began in 2014 when the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) sued Apple. It claimed that processors found in some versions of the iPhone violated a patent it owned called the predictor circuit. Specifically, the A7, A8 and A8X chips found in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and numerous iPads infringed on the patent.

The predictor circuit basically anticipates the instructions a person will give the system in order to improve processor performance. It was filed by a University of Wisconsin computer science professor named Gurindar Sohi in collaboration with 3 of his students in 1998.

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Apple denied the university’s claims during the trial, arguing that the patent was invalid. It also urged the US Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent’s validity, but was soundly rejected. It lost the case in the end and was ordered to fork over $234 million.

US District Judge William Conley has now added another $272 million to that figure because Apple continued to violate the patent until it expired in December 2016. The company isn’t giving up though, with plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

This isn’t the only lawsuit WARF has against Apple. The organization sued the brand in 2015 for using chipsets in later versions of the iPhone which breached the same patent. There hasn’t been a verdict in that case yet, as Conley is waiting for the firm to appeal the 2015 jury verdict.