Apple Defeats University of Wisconsin's Big Win on Appeal

By George Khoury, Esq. on October 02, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Apple may not be known for playing nice when it comes to using the tech they want, but it is surely known for fighting knock-out, drag-out, scorched-earth variety litigation, and isn't in the least bit afraid to take matters decided against them up on appeal when it loses.

Thanks to that latter willingness to appeal, however, Apple has won a sizable bit of relief. A judge panel unanimously decided, as a matter of law, that the jury in the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's big patent case could not have, as a matter of law, ruled for the university. Notably, the panel reversed the nearly $500 million in damages awarded back in 2015.

Patented Processor

The case alleges that Apple, in designing several of their own A-series, and similar, processors, infringed upon the University of Wisconsin's 1998 patent for certain a processor method. In short, the patented method in question was designed to improve a processor's performance by predicting what a user would do next.

However, though Apple's process was similar, the appellate court seized upon a distinction that neither the district court, nor the jury, picked up on: Apple's method was more involved in the way it structured the processor's predictions.

Unfortunately for the university, the next step if it wishes to continue fighting for its, now-expired patent, is to request rehearing en banc or pursue cert.

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