Federal judge slaps Apple with a $506 million fine in legal battle with WARF

U.S. District Judge William Conley of Wisconsin has entered a $506 million judgment against Apple for infringing a computer processor patent owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), more than double what a jury awarded the organization in damages in October 2015, reports the Law360 website.

The judge, in his determination, said WARF is owed additional damages plus interest because Apple continued to use the patented technology without license until the IP expired in December 2016. In early 2013, WARF filed a lawsuit saying that Apple's A7 processor (which is now up to version A10) 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.