Judge Orders Apple To Pay $506 Million For A-Series Processor Patent Infringement

Apple is going to have to feed a recognized patent troll hundreds of millions of dollars for infringing on a patent that has to do with processor efficiency. Initially Apple was on the hook for $234 million, owed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) after it won a patent dispute against the Cupertino outfit. However, a judge on Monday more than doubled the fine by tacking on an additional $272 million.

U.S District Judge William Conley in Madison ruled that Apple owed additional damages plus interest because it continued to infringe on the patent all the way up until it expired in 2016. With the added fine and interest piled on top of the original ruling, Apple is now looking at a $506 million verdict, assuming it stands up to appeal. Apple is not commenting on the matter, though it's being reported that Apple plans to fight the ruling.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Marlith)

This all dates back to a lawsuit filed in 2014. It involves U.S. Patent No. 5,871,752, which was issued in 1998 and describes the use of a predictor circuit that can help a processor run more efficiently by analyzing previous mis-speculations. It's geeky stuff, but also something that WARF claimed was used in Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors. Those SoCs cover a whole bunch of mobile products, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and various iterations of the iPad.

Judge Conley said at the time that Apple could be ordered to pay as much as $862.4 million damages if WARF was able to prove its case. WARF had asked for damages to be tripled, claiming that Apple knew of the patent and willfully infringed upon it. However, Judge Conley did not find that to be the case, though did rule in WARF's favor with the initial $234 million verdict.

Part of the reason why this never sat well with Apple is because WARF is a non-practicing entity that goes after companies for infringing its patents. Back in 2012, Business Insider ranked WARF as No. 5 on its list of the tech industry's top 8 patent trolls.

There could be more fines to come. In a separate lawsuit, WARF claims that Apple's A9 and A9X processors also infringe on the same patent.