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Court Rules Apple Infringed On University Of Wisconsin Patents

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Apple loses yet another court battle. In the latest in a string of legal defeats for the iPhone maker, a federal court ruled earlier this week that Apple had illegally used technology patented by Indian-born engineers Gurindar Sohi, Terani Vijaykumar and two others in the processors of several recent iPhones and iPads.

The engineers were a part of the lawsuit against Apple filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin, as two of four inventors whose patent Apple used without licensing to “enhance efficiency and performance” of their products.

WARF was seeking $862.4 million in damages from the tech titan in court filings, but the decision on the amount of damages has not yet been made by the jury.

Neither Apple and WARF could be reached for comment before publication.

More on WARF patent lawsuit against Apple

The two Indian engineers named in the WARK suit against Apple both earned undergraduate degrees from the Birla Institution of Technology and Science in India before coming to the U.S. for graduate school.

Gurindar Sohi is currently working as a professor of computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and was the head of the lab that developed a 1998 patent on improving efficiency in computer processors, based on WARF’s complaint. The complaint goes on to note: “This work has been recognized as a major milestone in the field of computer microprocessor architecture/design.”

Terani Vijaykumar, who earned his PhD in computer science at the University of Wisconsin in 1997, worked in the lab that developed the patent, and is now a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

In the ruling on the case, the jury at the U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin determined that Apple illegally incorporated technology described in the patent in processors that are used in many iPhone and iPads.

Apple denied WARF’s claims, arguing that the patent at issue was invalid, and that it had not infringed on it any way.

WARK Initially sued Apple in January 2014, then sued the iPhone maker again this September for infringing on the patent with more recent processors. The second case is pending trial.

New Apple products in 2015

Apple’s newest flagship products, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, feature Force Touch technology. The iPhone 6S and its larger cousin include 2GB RAM, an advanced A9 processor, a 12-megapixel main camera, a 5MP front acm with an LED-flash for selfies, and an improved TouchID sensor.

Apple also recently unveiled its 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This brand new iPad has been anticipated for years. It ships with a Force Touch-enabled stylus. The good news is that the new iPad Pro offers productivity-oriented functionality for power users. Pre-orders for the new device will begin in October, followed by in-store sales before Thanksgiving.

The new Apple TV offers a fully revamped set-top box. The company updated the video streaming box hardware and is allowing developers to create native TV apps. Apple TV also offers access to the App Store and a new interface that permits users search for specific programs or movies using Siri.

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