Apple could be on the hook for paying up to $862 million in damages as U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled that the maker of high-end gadgets infringed upon a patent owned by University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing branch. TechCrunch writes Apple's A7, A8 and A8X SoCs contain technology covered by a 1998 patent filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (aka WARF).
Reuters reports that the case was split into three sections (liability, damages, and willful infringement), with the latter being determined at a later date and potentially upping the cost of the loss for Apple.
The patent in question, U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752 for a “Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer” is meant to make computer chips more power-efficient by using a branch predictor.
Furthermore, WARF filed another suit in September claiming Apple's A9 and A9X chips also vaiolate the patent. In 2009, WARF hit Intel with a lawsuit for violation of the same patent, but that matter was settled out of court.