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Apple just lost a major patent case. Now it could pay the piper

Apple just lost a major patent case. Now it could pay the piper
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Sometimes, David does take down Goliath. Goliath, in this case, being Apple.

The tech giant, which recently rolled out a slew of new products like the iPhone 6s and the iPad Pro, has a war chest of $155 billion, give or take. So, a recent lawsuit against Apple isn't likely to hurt its financial situation. But it will sting and, more seriously, may damage Apple's reputation for innovation.

A Wisconsin jury this week found that Apple has infringed on a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It involves a technology used in Apple's A7, A8 and A8X processors, which are used in Apple iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and its iPads. The university has owned the patent since 1998.

In January last year, the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation sued Apple for infringement. Apple had asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the validity of that patent. In April, the Patent office rejected Apple's request.

This is more serious than Apple simply being accused of using the university's patent without permission. A jury in Wisconsin has already found that Apple is guilty.

Now, all that's left to determine is how much Apple will have to pay WARF. Apple could owe them a fortune, to the tune of $862 million.

The exact amount will be determined over three separate hearings, the first two for liability and damages. Apple could also owe for willfully violating the patent.

Apple's bruised ego, and damaged reputation, could suffer much more. Last month, WARF filed another lawsuit against Apple, this time for using its technology in Apple's new A9 and A9X processors in Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

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Source: Reuters
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