Jury Says Apple Violated Patent Infringement

The judgment in a patent lawsuit could end up taking a financial bite out of Apple.

It was reported this week that the technology giant has come out on the losing side of a patent lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) — the licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin-Madison — alleging that Apple had used WARF’s propriety technology in a number of its devices’ processors without permission.

The jury in Madison, Wisconsin, sided with WARF, finding the organization’s infringement claim valid and that its technology — patented in 1998 — is present in Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, which Reuters notes are found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad. WARF filed the lawsuit in January 2014.

With the liability phase of the proceedings complete, the case now moves to the damages phase, at the end of which Apple could ultimately be compelled by U.S. District Judge William Conley (who is presiding) to pay as much as $862.4 million.

Although neither representatives for WARF nor Apple had commented on the decision at the time the Reuters story was posted, court papers show that Apple denied any infringement and argued that the patent was invalid. The company had previously attempted to get the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent’s validity, without success.

Following the damages phase, Conley will rule as to whether Apple willfully infringed WARF’s patent, which could affect additional financial penalties.

Reuters notes that WARF launched a second lawsuit against Apple last month, alleging that the company’s newest chips — the A9 and A9X, used in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and the soon-to-be-released iPad Pro — similarly infringe upon its patent.

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