Apple has won an appeal of a patent infringement case originally brought by the University of Wisconsin-Madison filed back in 2015, according to a report from the Reuters news service. The court ruling said that Apple didn’t infringe on one of the university’s patents, which had overturned a prior ruling in the university’s favor that had fined Apple $234 million.
The report says a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., has thrown out at least a portion of the $506 million in damages originally awarded to UW in the case.
“The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) originally sued Apple over the issue in January 2014, saying that Apple infringed on its 1998 patent that handed improving chip efficiency.
Apple has argued that it did not infringe on the patent and also that the patent is invalid to begin with. The company asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the validity of the patent, but its request was denied at the time.
Apple was originally facing a bill as high as $862 million for infringement of the patent in 2015. A jury subsequently awarded a lower sum of $234 million after the judge ruled that Apple’s infringement was inadvertent rather than willful, according to 9TO5Mac.
— Laurel White (@lkwhite) October 15, 2015
In July 2017, U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison, Wisconsin ordered Apple to pay another $272 million of damages, for a total of $506 million, based on its continued infringement through the Dec. 2016 expiration of WARF’s patent.
Apple insisted that the judgment against it was “fraught with error” in 2017. It argued that the patent should never have been granted in the first place and that the calculation of the damages would have been wrong in the event of a valid claim.
As The Verge reported, a court said on Friday, September 28 that “no reasonable juror” could have found infringement, which met the standard needed to overturn a jury ruling. The court also said that Apple had to win the case “as a matter of law.”