Apple ordered to pay University of Wisconsin $234 million for patent infringement

A U.S. jury has ordered Apple to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm more than US$234 million in damages for incorporating its microchip technology into some of the company's iPhones and iPads without permission, reports Reuters.

The amount was less than the $400 million the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) was claiming in damages after the jury on Tuesday said Apple infringed its patent for improving the performance of computer processors. Apple told Reuters it would appeal the verdict.

In early 2013, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation filed a lawsuit saying that Apple's A7 processor (which is now up to version A9) infringed a university-developed patent that improves "the efficiency and performance of contemporary computer processors.

The patent (number 5,781,752) is for a "table based data speculation circuit for a parallel processing computer." Here's the patent summary: "A predictor circuit 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. Synchronization of dependent instructions is provided by a table creating entries for each instance of potential dependency. Table entries are created and deleted dynamically to limit total memory requirements.”

In 2013, Apple was accused of implementing the patent's technology in the company's 64-bit A7 processor that powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display. The complaint alleged that Apple was aware of the patent's existence because it is cited in several newer patents issued to the Cupertino, Calif. company.