Apple pays University of Wisconsin-Madison $234 million for patent infringement

Apple is usually a giant when it comes to litigation and lawsuits, with the company going after Samsung in two major patent infringement trials, the second of which is still ongoing. Samsung and Apple have said at various times that the companies would settle future issues out of court, though we can’t be sure how peaceful of a process it will be should these two rivals find themselves back at war again.

Well, Apple’s lawsuits are starting to catch up with the company. The latest lawsuit has Apple on the losing end, as the company was sued by the University of Wisconsin-Madison for violating the University’s microchip technology patent. According to the University, Apple placed the microchip into its A7, A8, and A8X processors that can be found in the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, and iPhone 5s. The jury deliberated for 3 hours in Madison, Wisconsin, but Apple was ordered to pay up half of the University’s asking price ($234 million instead of $400 million) for the infringement.

The University’s Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (or WARF) sued Apple last year for utilizing a predictor circuit patent that was created by its own computer science professor Gurindar Sohi as well as a few computer science students.

This isn’t the first time Apple’s been accused of stealing patent technology that has been legally awarded to other companies. What few remember is that Apple also sold its tablet under the “iPad” name before the company legally owned it (it belonged to a Chinese company prior to Apple’s purchase of it by using a dummy corporation to do so).

It is this kind of corruption and patent infringement that places Cupertino’s products and launches in a bad light. With Apple’s over $200 billion cash in the bank, and its plans to build a spaceship campus, Apple doesn’t need to infringe on patents in order to build a successful product. This is the kind of corruption that shouldn’t exist with an American company as powerful as Apple, and it is our hope that Apple understands that its business ethics are just as important as its fight for marriage equality and its successful product launches.


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