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Jury rules against Apple in IP lawsuit

The University of Wisconsin-Madison sued Apple back in Jan. 2014 after it was discovered that Apple used an invention created by one of the university's computer science professor and some of his students. The invention was a "predictor circuit," and it was made in 1998. However, Apple started using this circuitry in iPhone 5s and iPhone 6s. The circuitry was in their A7, A8 and A8X processors.

A jury considered the case, and they decided that Apple needs to pay the University of Wisconsin $234 million for the infringement of the university's intellectual property. The award isn't close to the university's request, which was $400 million, but even so, Apple still plans to appeal the decision.

There are a couple of things to learn from this case, and they both relate to companies (or even individuals) and how they deal with intellectual property. The first is that if you believe your patent, trademark or copyright has been infringed upon, then you should consider pursuing litigation to protect your invention, identity and/or brand. If you don't protect these things, you stand to lose a lot of tangible elements (money) and intangible elements (reputation).

On the other hand, if you are defending a claim that says you or your company infringed upon a patent, trademark or copyright, then you need experienced legal counsel to help support your case. Losing such a case could also lead to you or your company losing those tangible and intangible elements.

Source: Reuters, "Apple ordered to pay $234 million to university for infringing patent," Andrew Chung, Oct. 16, 2015

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