University of Wisconsin

A long-running patent battle between Apple and the University of Wisconsin appears to finally be at an end. The US Supreme Court has today refused a request from the college to hear an appeal…


The case dates back to 2015. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation wing of the university claimed that Apple’s A-series chips infringed on its patent for a method of boosting the efficiency of integrated circuits. WARF claimed damages of $862M.

A jury found Apple guilty of infringing the patent. However, the judge ruled that Apple’s infringement was inadvertent, not deliberate, and the jury accordingly awarded reduced damages of $234M.

Things didn’t end there, however. As Apple’s A-series chips were found to continue infringing the patent right up to its expiry in 2016, and also owed interest on the original judgment pending an appeal, a judge more than doubled the damages to $507M.

Apple’s appeal argued that the ruling was ‘fraught with error‘ and the iPhone maker subsequently won. The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, found that there was no evidence of infringement, and therefore the ruling had to be overturned.

WARF then sought permission to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Today’s news

Reuters reports that the Supreme Court has refused permission.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple Inc in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads.

The justices, on the first day of their new term, declined to review a lower court’s 2018 decision to throw out the $506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 decided the company infringed the university’s patent.

That should now be the end of it.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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