Update : Today, Friday October 16, the jury of the District Court in Madison has announced the final resolution of the case. Apple will have to pay $234 million to the University of Wisconsin for using the patent without authorization. This amount is far below the expected 862 million, and the 411 million requested by the Foundation.
Last Tuesday, Apple came to the end of one of its toughest legal battles of the year after losing a lawsuit over the use of a patent used in several of its processors, a patent that was registered in 1998 by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA.
The complaint was filed in 2014, and during the hearings, Apple always adjusted to the argument that the patent was invalid, submitting several pieces of evidence to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a thorough review. Despite this, the District Court jury in Madison, determined that the patent is valid and Apple has infringed it. This means that Apple has to pay a fine that could reach up to 862 million dollars .
Of course Apple has appealed the decision
This patent follows the design of the A7, A8, and A8X processors included in iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and 6 Plus, as well as several devices in the iPad range. But as expected, the army of lawyers of Apple has appealed the decision , seeking to reach a settlement with the Foundation or reduce the payment of the fine, this under the precedent that the Foundation had already participated in similar case against Intel.
In 2009, Intel faced the same situation, when the Foundation sued it for the same patent used in its processors, but at that time, the jury determined that the fine was 110 million dollars, for the sale of 1500 million processors . Eventually Intel and the Foundation reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount.
This is how Apple seeks to reduce the fine or reach an agreement with the Foundation, since according to the company, these processors have been used in about 150 million devices , nothing compared to Intel.
The Foundation is pursuing at least $400 million
Today the Foundation announced that it is seeking Apple’s payment of $2.74 per device for the use of the patent, or $411 million, but Apple claims that the figure is only 7 cents per device, which is close to what Intel paid per unit.
The curious thing about all this is that the Foundation has made it known that during the last year, it approached Apple on several occasions, to try to license the patent for a semester or annual payment, but Apple ignored all these offers . So far we do not know the exact amount Apple will have to pay, but this Friday we are expected to have the final decision, which could either be a lower amount in this appeal, or could increase if it is determined that Apple made use of the patent intentionally.
But this is not over yet, since last September, the Foundation filed a new lawsuit against Apple for the use of the same patent, but now in the A9 and A9X processors, included in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and iPad Pro. Let’s see where it all ends.