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Apple wins appeal of $234 million patent dispute with university

Apple wins appeal of $234 million patent dispute with university

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

A federal appeals court has ruled in Apple’s favor in a patent dispute with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The court ruling, initially spotted by Reuters, said that that Apple didn’t infringe on one of the university’s patents, overturning a prior ruling in the university’s favor that had fined Apple $234 million. Another $272 million was later added to that fine to account for Apple’s continued use of the patent, but that will presumably be thrown out now that the underlying judgment has been reversed.

The patent suit started back in 2014 when the university’s licensing arm — the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) — filed a lawsuit saying that several iPhone and iPad processors used technology it had developed. The university initially won in 2015 when a jury ruled that the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2 had infringed the patent. But today, a court said that “no reasonable juror” could have found infringement, which met the standard needed to overturn a jury ruling.