Apple has been ordered by a jury to pay some US$234 million (about RM894 million) in damages for infringing patents owned by the Wisconsin Alumini Research Foundation (WARF), which obtained them from the University of Wisconsin. The trial ended last week, where Apple was deemed to have infringed the patent; although the judge ruled that it was not done wilfully.
The patents in question was used by Apple in the creation of the A7 processor used in the iPhone 5S; and is now currently in use in the A8 and A8X processors in the iPhone 6. The technology extends battery life by making the processor more efficient.
Apple had contended that any damages should be awarded based on the calculation of 7 cents per device, which was later revealed to be the rate at which a settlement between the WARF and Intel was paid. The jury was not aware of the rate when it reach its verdict. That being said, the value was still substantially below the amounted requested by WARF, who wanted to be paid US$2.74 per device; which would have resulted in damages of U$400 million.
Samsung was also nearly dragged into the litigation when processors it manufactured under contract for Apple came under scrutiny. Apple had argued that these should not count against its total number of devices when calculating damages as it was not directly responsible for manufacturing them. The court disagreed saying that while the actual manufacture was being done by Samsung, Apple controlled the production.
While the damages would be quite substantial for any company, it is unlikely to leave a dent in Apple’s finances. That being said, the iPhone manufacturer is lucky that the court did not find that it wilfully infringed the patent. If that had happened, the damages could have been tripled.
[Source: Ars Technica]