For the background of the case, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (“WARF”) sued Apple in january 2014, before the Wiscounsin District Court.
The WARF argued that Apple was infringing U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752, essentially concerning instructions executions in a predictive way by processors. The WARF argued that the A7, A8 and A8X integrated circuit chips infringed the patent in issue by their processors comprising a “Load-Store Dependency Predictor” (LSD).
As usual in these procedures, Apple has made a counterclaim for non-infringement and invalidity judgments of the patent in suit. In particular, U.S. Patent No. 5,619,662 was raised as a prior art anticipating predictive technology.
The District Court ruled in favor of the WARF regarding the novelty and the jury found the non-invalidity (ie: the validity of the patent), and the infringement of the patent. In addition, the jury has awarded the WARF, damages of more than 234 million dollars. Apple’s requests were rejected.
Apple appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Federal Circuit.
The Court of Appeal redid an analysis of the wording of the claims, in particular the use of the terms “particular” and “prediction”, the opinions of the experts of the parties and the arguments of the parties.
The Court of Appeal upheld the validity of the patent (in favor of the WARF), but also ruled in favor of APPLE because it overturned the decision on counterfeiting, awarding damages of over $ 234 million to the WARF.
This is a victory for Apple concerning the alleged infringement.
The patents in question (that of the WARF and the prior art) are protected only in the US, which shows that particular attention is required when entering the American market.