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Many Texas residents use technology manufactured, distributed and sold by Apple Inc., such as iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers. Part of the technology used to create these and other devices Apple manufactures comes from others who have patents on that technology. In some cases, entities have accused the technology giant of using their patents without permission, and patent law supports some of those claims.

One such claim filed in Jan. 2014 came from a Midwestern university. The university's licensing section filed a lawsuit against Apple when its patented technology was discovered in chips that are in many of the iPhone maker's devices. The patent in question is for a process that increases processor efficiency.

The Wisconsin jury assigned the task of determining whether the university's claims, represented by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, were true recently ruled that Apple did, in fact, use the technology without permission. Apple attempted to have the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review the validity of the patent since part of its argument in the case was that the patent in question was not valid. That request was denied in April.

In a ruling made by the federal judge presiding over the case, it was stated that damages could be as high as $862.4 million. As this case moves into its second phase, during which damages will be determined, another patent law case was filed by WARF against Apple. Just because a large corporation is involved, that does not mean that it has the right to infringe on a smaller entity or individual's patents. WARF is just one example of patent holders, both in Texas and around the country, fighting to protect their rights.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Apple Loses Patent Lawsuit To University Of Wisconsin-Madison", Andrew Chung, Oct. 14, 2015

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