US Supreme Court backs Apple in battle with the University of Wisconsin

What you need to know

  • Apple's A-series chip was originaly said to have infringed upon a patent.
  • The ruling was subsequently overturned.
  • Now that decision will stand without appeal.

Following a case dating back to 2015 the US Supreme Court has sided with Apple, ending a four year battle over a perceived patent infringement relating to Apple's A-series chips.

Way back at the beginning of this story the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation claimed that Apple's A-series chips infringed upon a patent relating to how its efficiency was boosted. Initial damages of $862 million were claimed.

As 9to5Mac points out, a jury subsequently found Apple guilty of patent infringement and awarded $234 million in damages. But Apple continued to allegedly infringe upon the patent in products like iPhone until its expiration in 2016. Add interest and a judge increased the damages to a staggering $507 million.

But that wasn't the end of things and Apple claimed that the ruling was "fraught with error". After convincing The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, the original ruling was overturned. But of course, that wasn't the end of things either.

The university sought to appeal, but now the US Supreme Cought has refused as noted by Reuters.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple Inc in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads.The justices, on the first day of their new term, declined to review a lower court's 2018 decision to throw out the $506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 decided the company infringed the university's patent.

That should now, finally, be the end of things. But this being the patent system pretty much anything could happen from here on out.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.