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Federal judge upholds $234 million award to WARF in Apple infringement case


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 14th, 2017

A federal judge in Madison, WI, has upheld a $234.3 million award in damages against Apple, after the tech giant lost a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

WARF is the tech transfer arm of the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. The jury award was reached in 2015 after a trial in federal court. Deciding on post-verdict motions, U.S. District Judge William Conley let the award stand, rejecting Apple’s motion for a new trial. The infringed patent involves a processor technology that UW claims is used in popular Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad.

“In this case, the evidence easily supports the jury’s findings of infringement on all three disputed elements of the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit,” Conley wrote.

While upholding the damages award, however, Conley also rejected WARF claims of willful infringement, which could have brought a tripling of the damages. He also denied WARF’s request for a permanent injunction, which would have barred Apple from using the technology.

Instead, the judge awarded WARF an ongoing royalty of $2.74 per unit for any infringement occurring after the entry of final judgment in the case, calling the rate “fair and reasonable” in light of the jury’s finding.

The judge also made it clear that WARF and Apple should work together to arrive at sales figures that apply to the ongoing royalty, but he did not order Apple to come up with a formal accounting. Going forward, Conley directed WARF and Apple to discuss consolidating a separate but related lawsuit involving newer Apple processors which allegedly use the same UW technology. Those newer processors are in the Apple iPhone 6, 6S and 7, among other products.

Source: IP Wire

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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