The University of Wisconsin-Madison has won its case against Apple, with a court ruling that the company has indeed infringed a University patent in the design of its A-series ARM processors.
In a lawsuit filed in January 2014 by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's intellectual property licensing arm it was claimed that Apple's A7, A8 and A8X processors used patented technology to increase their efficiency above rival chips. Apple, as is to be expected, denied any wrongdoing, stating that the 1996 patent was not being infringed and should be invalidated anyway - an argument which brought the case in front of a judge.
reports that the judgement is in, and it's not good news for Apple: the patent is valid, the chips do infringe said patent, and the company could owe nearly $900 million in damages as a result.
The ruling comes a month after the University launched a second lawsuit against Apple, arguing that the same patent is still being infringed by the company's latest-generation A9 and A9X processor designs. The judgement from this case is likely to help the University's argument in its latest, as is an out-of-court settlement earned in 2009 against Intel regarding the self-same patent.
Filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the patent in question
covers 'a predictor circuit [which] permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected at the final stages of processing,
' a means of boosting processing efficiency.
The judge has yet to rule on exact figures for damages, and as yet Apple has not commented on its loss in the claims part of the trial.