17 Oct ‘Is WARF a patent troll?’ and four other questions about the Apple vs. WARF lawsuit, answered
There’s a lot yet to be determined in the lawsuit between the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Apple.
WARF, which oversees and protects patents on University of Wisconsin inventions, sued the tech giant in February 2014, claiming Apple used a piece of microprocessing technology invented at the UW-Madison without paying for rights. On Tuesday, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that Apple did violate WARF’s patent.
Now the court is descending into the complicated work of determining just how much Apple owes WARF, and speculation is swirling about whether the case will be appealed or settled out of court.
“Both parties are playing a very strategic game right now,” said Kali Murray, associate professor of law at Marquette University. “A lot of places would be intimidated bringing a case against Apple — and WARF is not one of them.”
Is this case a big deal outside of Wisconsin?
Yes. The amount of money involved is well above the average for a patent lawsuit. According to a study released earlier this year by financial services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, the average patent case is about $4.3 million. For non-practicing entities, a category that includes the UW-Madison, the average is $22 million.