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apple microchip patent case

Apple could be facing up to $862 million in damages after losing a patent case to University of Wisconsin.

The tech giant used microchip technology owned by the University of Wisconsin without permission in some iPhones and iPads, a jury in Madison found on October 13.

The patent, filed in 1998, is said to improve the power efficiency of microchips.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

The case relates to use of the technology in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus – but an additional lawsuit making the same claim against Apple’s newest models, the 6S and 6S Plus, has also been filed.

The University of Wisconsin sued Intel over the same patent in 2008. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

In court papers, the University of Wisconsin claimed Apple ignored its offers to license the patent, which would mean paying a fee for its continued use.

Therefore the university said Apple was willfully infringing the patent, something which, if the court agrees, could carry a heavier fine.

The precise amount Apple may have to pay will be decided at a later stage in the court proceedings.

Despite recent well-publicized truces between some big tech firms, fierce patent battles are still being fought in courts globally.

Last week, a judge threw out claims by graphic card specialist Nvidia that Samsung and others had infringed three of its patents.