Apple loses A7 patent lawsuit to University of Wisconsin, faces $0.9 billion damages

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dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
83
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After reading my post that finished with "just politics", you quote some old politics ideas/rules and promote them to principle. Impressive.

"The Congress shall..." I don't care... Where is the principle that gives them the power to promote whatever by force? Promoting anything is a fair game when there is no force involved, let's do that instead.
The concept of exclusivity and ownership of ideas/concepts has no principle behind it, that's why there is a time stamp on it. No one will make a sane argument that after X years, you don't own your house anymore, if you truly own something, you decide when (if) you give it away. It's clear that even those who implemented this patent idea, didn't believe in ownership of ideas.

All the invention are build upon unowned knowlage/ideas/concepts, if patents would be based on principles all (valuable) "common" knowledge would be owned and accessible only to the "selected".



Sure, ways that involve no force are a fair game. No one should force you to share your knowledge no matter how beneficial it would be. But anyone is free to incentive/persuade you best they can in a peaceful manner.

A principle is just a rule or rationale that governs conduct. The political ideals you rail against are in fact principles, just principles with which you apparently disagree.
 

stingerman

Member
Feb 8, 2005
100
11
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The claims of the patent in question do not specify the use of a lookup table.

Also - this was a high stakes patent litigation where the defendant (Apple) has literally unlimited funds available to try an invalidate the asserted patent. They have some of the best patent lawyers around and access to the best patent litigators in the world. And they still lost. Given that context, your assertion that no previous art exists is questionable at best.

From my reading of the Patent, it does require a table to track data dependancies that cause an instruction to miss. It's to improve the Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) where an instruction is executed out of order but the data it depends on is changed by another instruction. So the result has to be thrown away and recalculated on the now modified data. The Patent covers how they are keep track of the misses, so they can make better predictions on the dependences between instructions.

This technique was not magically invented in 1997.

ILP was imagined from the start in the early 1940s and was included in Turing's 1946 design of the Pilot ACE. In 1952 Wilkes and Stringer wrote, "In some cases it may be possible for two or more micro- operations to take place at the same time"

This patent is looking at one implementation of monitoring dependences. The first out-of-order machines were built in the early 1960s.

So a Jury in Madison, the home of the university trolling Apple, is hardly an arbiter I would trust. It's a ridiculous patent.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
641
126
After reading my post that finished with "just politics", you quote some old politics ideas/rules and promote them to principle. Impressive.

"The Congress shall..." I don't care... Where is the principle that gives them the power to promote whatever by force? Promoting anything is a fair game when there is no force involved, let's do that instead.
The concept of exclusivity and ownership of ideas/concepts has no principle behind it, that's why there is a time stamp on it. No one will make a sane argument that after X years, you don't own your house anymore, if you truly own something, you decide when (if) you give it away. It's clear that even those who implemented this patent idea, didn't believe in ownership of ideas.

All the invention are build upon unowned knowlage/ideas/concepts, if patents would be based on principles all (valuable) "common" knowledge would be owned and accessible only to the "selected".

Sure, ways that involve no force are a fair game. No one should force you to share your knowledge no matter how beneficial it would be. But anyone is free to incentive/persuade you best they can in a peaceful manner.

I get it, things that are clearly principles aren't principles just because you say so. Whatever buddy, you have 0 credibility to make that arbitrary distinction, this conversation is over. It's pointless arguing with you.

Luckily the Federal Circuit, USPTO and Supreme Court all disagree with you, and they have actual credibility and the weight of law behind them.
 

stingerman

Member
Feb 8, 2005
100
11
76
By Y. Peter Kang

Law360, Los Angeles (October 15, 2015, 9:39 PM ET) -- A Wisconsin federal judge ruled Thursday that Apple's infringement of a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation computer processor patent wasn't willful, ruling out a potential threat of triple damages in a suit that could cost the tech giant nearly $400 million after a jury's recent infringement verdict.

Following a liability trial that began Oct. 5, the jury found Monday that Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini infringed a single patent held by WARF, the patent manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison,...

http://www.law360.com/technology/ar...tter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=technology
 

kpkp

Senior member
Oct 11, 2012
468
0
76
A principle is just a rule or rationale that governs conduct. The political ideals you rail against are in fact principles, just principles with which you apparently disagree.

Principle is defined as a fundamental truth and as such it needs to be universal, example:
"the initiation of force against others is evil", that's a principle as it applies universally.
Political ideals can be principles only if they are fundamentally true and as such can be applied universally. Like if we take some basic laws or ethics laws are supposed to uphold:
Like don't steal,... taxation.
Like don't murder,... drone strikes.
Or simply, don't initiate force against others,... Government.
The whole system is based on the contradiction of principles, so it's irrational to expect principles in laws, but maybe you can get lucky.


I get it, things that are clearly principles aren't principles just because you say so. Whatever buddy, you have 0 credibility to make that arbitrary distinction, this conversation is over. It's pointless arguing with you.

Luckily the Federal Circuit, USPTO and Supreme Court all disagree with you, and they have actual credibility and the weight of law behind them.

Let me quote your principle "Promoting the progress of science and useful arts", that's a principle as much as "(Promoting) ass scratching". That's just an action, actions aren't principles. Go study this :)whiste:) principle for a while.

Ad hominem attack and hiding behind the big government, that's how big boys bring arguments to the table, you are ripe for politics.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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By Y. Peter Kang

Law360, Los Angeles (October 15, 2015, 9:39 PM ET) -- A Wisconsin federal judge ruled Thursday that Apple's infringement of a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation computer processor patent wasn't willful, ruling out a potential threat of triple damages in a suit that could cost the tech giant nearly $400 million after a jury's recent infringement verdict.

Following a liability trial that began Oct. 5, the jury found Monday that Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini infringed a single patent held by WARF, the patent manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison,...

http://www.law360.com/technology/ar...tter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=technology

$400 million seems more reasonable in light of what Intel paid to license this tech, but still quite high.
 

stingerman

Member
Feb 8, 2005
100
11
76
$400 million seems more reasonable in light of what Intel paid to license this tech, but still quite high.

$400 million is now the top limit. The Judge set this high mark to encourage Apple to settle. I doubt very much it will get anywhere near this. And the Appeal process will put UW's current win in Jeopardy. So they will be inclined to take a haircut. Apple will pursue a multi-pronged strategy, wittiling down the possible judgement amount while trying to defeat the case in the higher courts. Apple has just won one battle of a very long process. The only winners here are the lawyers who will keep this running as long as possible to maximize their fees, from my experience.
 

stingerman

Member
Feb 8, 2005
100
11
76
Here's more info: Apple is saying .07 / processor based on the licensing fee WARF settled with Intel and other real world licensing fees while WARF wants an unprecedented $2.74 / .

If WARF asks for a Judgement that is egregiously greater than what they licensed their patent to others for, which is well known, no matter what the Jury decides, the Judge will probably significantly reduce it otherwise leaving Apple plenty of room in their Appeal.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/lo...cle_8210863c-b7cf-557e-84b1-6ee4c4e7bfb2.html
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,715
2,012
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Here's more info: Apple is saying .07 / processor based on the licensing fee WARF settled with Intel and other real world licensing fees while WARF wants an unprecedented $2.74 / .

If WARF asks for a Judgement that is egregiously greater than what they licensed their patent to others for, which is well known, no matter what the Jury decides, the Judge will probably significantly reduce it otherwise leaving Apple plenty of room in their Appeal.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/lo...cle_8210863c-b7cf-557e-84b1-6ee4c4e7bfb2.html

Good find, thanks.
 

waffleironhead

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
6,923
435
136
Here's more info: Apple is saying .07 / processor based on the licensing fee WARF settled with Intel and other real world licensing fees while WARF wants an unprecedented $2.74 / .

If WARF asks for a Judgement that is egregiously greater than what they licensed their patent to others for, which is well known, no matter what the Jury decides, the Judge will probably significantly reduce it otherwise leaving Apple plenty of room in their Appeal.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/lo...cle_8210863c-b7cf-557e-84b1-6ee4c4e7bfb2.html

Cant read the article. Why would the judgment line up with what intel liscensed the tech for? Shouldnt the judgement be more since apple had the chance to pay to use it and decided to fight instead.
 

erunion

Senior member
Jan 20, 2013
765
0
0
If you're not a communist you ought to support private property. The patent is a way of making something that would otherwise be public instead private for a limited period of time. Owning land is only by virtue of government backed laws on land ownership. I dont see why patents are somehow a special case... You know that patents and deeds for land used to be nearly the same, right? They spring from a common theory and background. Patent claims are described as equivalent to the property description on a deed.

Communism = I should have a right to the invention YOU made spending great deals of YOUR time and effort to realize.

Patents are in stark opposition to communism.

But of course talking about patent on this board is entirely wasted words, since its 100% pure emotion since nobody really knows what they're talking about with a few key exceptions

Ideas are not a form of property. Property is a system designed to resolve disputes over scarce goods. An idea is not scarce because the same thought can exist in an infinite number of brains at the same time. Thus there is no potential for conflict. Contrast that with a piece of physical property, which exists in only one place.

The patent system, therefore, is designed to force people to act as though ideas are scarce, creating dispute where none existed.

The debate over intellectual property has changed dramatically in the last few years thanks to the experiences of the digital age. You might enjoy this article on the subject.
 
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dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
83
91
Ideas are not a form of property. Property is a system designed to resolve disputes over scarce goods. An idea is not scarce because the same thought can exist in an infinite number of brains at the same time. Thus there is no potential for conflict.

The patent system, therefore, is designed to force people to act as though ideas are scarce, creating dispute where none existed.

Or, you could say the patent system is designed to encourage people to share ideas with the public, rather than keep them secret.

The patent system is an economic balancing designed to reach the optimum amount of "good". And I personally it is worth providing the originators of ideas a limited period to enjoy the fruits of labor in order to secure the "good" of an open exchange of ideas.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
21,730
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Or, you could say the patent system is designed to encourage people to share ideas with the public, rather than keep them secret.

The patent system is an economic balancing designed to reach the optimum amount of "good". And I personally it is worth providing the originators of ideas a limited period to enjoy the fruits of labor in order to secure the "good" of an open exchange of ideas.

The patent system is pretty lousy if you don't have deep pockets to invest in and defend your patent portfolio. Plenty of small timers have been burned in numerous ways, and not necessarily due to errors in their filing. I used to know an engineer (and ex-Army test pilot, among other things) who had invented a medical device somehow related to phlebotomy (I forget exactly what it did). <majorcorporationwhoshallnotbenamed> stepped in and threatened to reverse-engineer his device - sufficiently differentiated from the original design - and crush him on the open market if he wouldn't sell out to them for a paltry sum. He refused to bow to intimidation, so, sure enough, the big bad corporation came out with their own model and promptly eradicated the engineer's fledgling market position. He was powerless to stop them. He didn't have the (at the time) $100k+ necessary to hire competent defence attorneys. Today, you need a war chest in the millions just to play.

Maybe, in the mind of some, such an example represents exactly how the patent system should work. Big firm finds tech it likes, tries to buy it, and (when it can't) creates their own version that's juuuuust different enough to merit a separate patent filing.

Then there's the issue of whether or not any judge or jury fully understands the patent(s) in dispute. As stingerman pointed out, the patent itself may be based on prior art. How often does the USPTO reject patents on that basis, and how often does anyone in a courtroom really recognize prior art in these circumstances? If you are sufficiently vague and weasily, you can patent nearly anything.

At least Apple had enough money to defend itself in court. A smaller player could have (and would have) been rolled hard.
 

dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
83
91
The patent system is pretty lousy if you don't have deep pockets to invest in and defend your patent portfolio. Plenty of small timers have been burned in numerous ways, and not necessarily due to errors in their filing. I used to know an engineer (and ex-Army test pilot, among other things) who had invented a medical device somehow related to phlebotomy (I forget exactly what it did). <majorcorporationwhoshallnotbenamed> stepped in and threatened to reverse-engineer his device - sufficiently differentiated from the original design - and crush him on the open market if he wouldn't sell out to them for a paltry sum. He refused to bow to intimidation, so, sure enough, the big bad corporation came out with their own model and promptly eradicated the engineer's fledgling market position. He was powerless to stop them. He didn't have the (at the time) $100k+ necessary to hire competent defence attorneys. Today, you need a war chest in the millions just to play.

Maybe, in the mind of some, such an example represents exactly how the patent system should work. Big firm finds tech it likes, tries to buy it, and (when it can't) creates their own version that's juuuuust different enough to merit a separate patent filing.

Then there's the issue of whether or not any judge or jury fully understands the patent(s) in dispute. As stingerman pointed out, the patent itself may be based on prior art. How often does the USPTO reject patents on that basis, and how often does anyone in a courtroom really recognize prior art in these circumstances? If you are sufficiently vague and weasily, you can patent nearly anything.

At least Apple had enough money to defend itself in court. A smaller player could have (and would have) been rolled hard.

Isn't that an argument for a stronger patent system, not no patent system at all? Would your engineer have been better off with no patent, where he would have zero ability to defend his intellectual property?

I know there are flaws in the patent system. I know there are plenty of flaws in the legal system generally. However, I believe that conceptually the system makes sense and is overall, while not perfect, a net good to society.
 

imported_ats

Senior member
Mar 21, 2008
422
63
86
Here's more info: Apple is saying .07 / processor based on the licensing fee WARF settled with Intel and other real world licensing fees while WARF wants an unprecedented $2.74 / .

If WARF asks for a Judgement that is egregiously greater than what they licensed their patent to others for, which is well known, no matter what the Jury decides, the Judge will probably significantly reduce it otherwise leaving Apple plenty of room in their Appeal.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/lo...cle_8210863c-b7cf-557e-84b1-6ee4c4e7bfb2.html


Um, generally in licensing, when they have to actually go to trial to enforce, you ask and get substantially more than you charge for non-trial licensees.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
2,533
963
136
A patent from 1998 about CPU microarch should have long expired. This is completely ridiculous.

For those in the know, how long do patents apply now? Does it depend on the application domain?
 

CluelessOne

Member
Jun 19, 2015
76
49
91
I believe patent protection is for 17 to 20 years duration. And yes, I believe that is fair, considering the time to market might be long. I wish copyright have the same time duration restriction.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,715
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Also A7 came out in 2013, 15 years after the patent was issued, and development on A7 began years prior.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
2,533
963
136
Also A7 came out in 2013, 15 years after the patent was issued, and development on A7 began years prior.
I don't think dev start time matters, it's when first goods are manufactured (or sold?) that it applies.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
21,730
11,045
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Isn't that an argument for a stronger patent system, not no patent system at all?

A stronger system may not be possible (or realistically plausible). The main problems with the USPTO seem to be:

1). USPTO can't read or won't bother actually reading patents to see whether or not they are viable. You can patent just about anything (believe me, even I did once as a provisional, and the patent was complete bs. Others have done worse).
2). See #1 with respect to prior art
3). See #1 with respect to redundant patents (competing or otherwise)

As things stand, you can have situations such as the one I laid out where a patent offered no actual protection to the inventor, or the situation as in the OP where the UoW seems to have bilked Apple out of $200+ million with a questionable patent that may have prior art dating back decades. It doesn't really seem like they could make the patent system any stronger without significantly worsening problems such as the latter.

Would your engineer have been better off with no patent, where he would have zero ability to defend his intellectual property?

It wouldn't have made much difference. It was some time ago when all this happened, so the fees to file a patent were probably much lower than they are now, but someone experiencing the same today could be paying out $10k+ in filing and legal fees for the distinct honor of acquiring a patent that is effectively useless. A big player who knows how to spin their own reverse-engineered job as being "10% differentiated" (or whatever is the standard now) from anything else covered by a patent can slide right around such things, at least when small fries are involved.

Yeah, trying to sell/license such an invention in, say, '90s/early aughts China wouldn't be any better. There, a state-backed industry group would just steal the thing straight off and laugh at patents.

It pays to be realistic, though. When it comes to patents and patent law, money talks and bs walks.

I know there are flaws in the patent system. I know there are plenty of flaws in the legal system generally. However, I believe that conceptually the system makes sense and is overall, while not perfect, a net good to society.

There may be some independent inventors out there that have found ways to make it work for them. Most of the folks I know in the startup community generally give patent defense a $1 million+ price tag (and that number comes from about 7 years ago . . . it might have gone up by now), and will strongly encourage people to find other ways to defend their trade secrets if they can't gain access to a defense fund of some kind.

It works okay-ish for corporations, wealthy independents, and institutions with non-monetary advantages (such as the UoW that gains the advantage of being a government-run institution).
 

dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
83
91
A stronger system may not be possible (or realistically plausible). The main problems with the USPTO seem to be:

1). USPTO can't read or won't bother actually reading patents to see whether or not they are viable. You can patent just about anything (believe me, even I did once as a provisional, and the patent was complete bs. Others have done worse).
2). See #1 with respect to prior art
3). See #1 with respect to redundant patents (competing or otherwise)

As things stand, you can have situations such as the one I laid out where a patent offered no actual protection to the inventor, or the situation as in the OP where the UoW seems to have bilked Apple out of $200+ million with a questionable patent that may have prior art dating back decades. It doesn't really seem like they could make the patent system any stronger without significantly worsening problems such as the latter.



It wouldn't have made much difference. It was some time ago when all this happened, so the fees to file a patent were probably much lower than they are now, but someone experiencing the same today could be paying out $10k+ in filing and legal fees for the distinct honor of acquiring a patent that is effectively useless. A big player who knows how to spin their own reverse-engineered job as being "10% differentiated" (or whatever is the standard now) from anything else covered by a patent can slide right around such things, at least when small fries are involved.

Yeah, trying to sell/license such an invention in, say, '90s/early aughts China wouldn't be any better. There, a state-backed industry group would just steal the thing straight off and laugh at patents.

It pays to be realistic, though. When it comes to patents and patent law, money talks and bs walks.



There may be some independent inventors out there that have found ways to make it work for them. Most of the folks I know in the startup community generally give patent defense a $1 million+ price tag (and that number comes from about 7 years ago . . . it might have gone up by now), and will strongly encourage people to find other ways to defend their trade secrets if they can't gain access to a defense fund of some kind.

It works okay-ish for corporations, wealthy independents, and institutions with non-monetary advantages (such as the UoW that gains the advantage of being a government-run institution).

Nothing you've said is an argument for no protection of intellectual property, which is what I was responding to. I have no problem admitting the patent system, and the legal system in general, isn't perfect. And, like in pretty much everything, the wealthy/powerful will always have an advantage over the less wealthy/powerful.

I'm a commercial litigator, so patent law isn't really my specialty. What I do know is that the arguments presented on this thread are the same type of misrepresentations or misunderstandings of the legal system that I encounter as a litigator.

For instance, it is often argued that juries cannot understand complex technical issues. But my experience says differently. Juries can be surprisingly perceptive, so long as you adequately frame the issue. Usually, the problem isn't that the jury cannot understand, but that the lawyer failed to present the problem in an organized and understandable way.

Another common problem in litigation is that clients can have a very narrow perspective, which only lets them see the flaws of the opposition's case and the merits of their own. But, I have never seen a "perfect" case. It does not exist. There is always some sticky-issue that is more nuanced than the client realizes.

And this same problem of perspective extends to media coverage of litigation. Again, nuanced issues become over simplified to fit predetermined narratives. The public bites on the narrative, but is rarely provided the full context. In fact, generally the media's presentation has no relation to the actual issues addressed in court.
 

stingerman

Member
Feb 8, 2005
100
11
76
Um, generally in licensing, when they have to actually go to trial to enforce, you ask and get substantially more than you charge for non-trial licensees.

The issue wasn't that they were intentionally not licensing, they do not believe they infringed on the patent at all and if they did, they felt the patent wasn't legitimate. The Judge already decided that it wasn't intentional. Now, the roof has been set by the jury, the next few years Apple will chisel it down while they try to win the Appeal. If WARF was conservative, which they should be, they would just give Apple the opportunity to settle at a premium to what they licensed to Intel to.

The other aspect to consider, is that Apple doesn't publish their processor designs and they are kept under trade secrets. So there is a lot of professional guessing about how they are managing their ILP and minimizing Load/Store misses.
 

waffleironhead

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
6,923
435
136
The issue wasn't that they were intentionally not licensing, they do not believe they infringed on the patent at all and if they did, they felt the patent wasn't legitimate. The Judge already decided that it wasn't intentional. Now, the roof has been set by the jury, the next few years Apple will chisel it down while they try to win the Appeal. If WARF was conservative, which they should be, they would just give Apple the opportunity to settle at a premium to what they licensed to Intel to.

The other aspect to consider, is that Apple doesn't publish their processor designs and they are kept under trade secrets. So there is a lot of professional guessing about how they are managing their ILP and minimizing Load/Store misses.

They already had the chance to settle like intel did, before the trial.
 

imported_ats

Senior member
Mar 21, 2008
422
63
86
The issue wasn't that they were intentionally not licensing, they do not believe they infringed on the patent at all and if they did, they felt the patent wasn't legitimate. The Judge already decided that it wasn't intentional. Now, the roof has been set by the jury, the next few years Apple will chisel it down while they try to win the Appeal. If WARF was conservative, which they should be, they would just give Apple the opportunity to settle at a premium to what they licensed to Intel to.

Um, no. WARF pretty much has Apple over a barrel at this point. If Apple presses further, the next stop for WARF is ITC which is pretty much guaranteed to do an embargo with an already decided court case in hand (and likely without requiring a set aside by WARF!). At that point, the cost to Apple becomes rather large, much much larger than just paying the current ruling and equiv for A9.

The other aspect to consider, is that Apple doesn't publish their processor designs and they are kept under trade secrets. So there is a lot of professional guessing about how they are managing their ILP and minimizing Load/Store misses.

If they are arguing that their designs don't infringe, then they have to open the kimono to the lawsuit. If they don't open the kimono, they can't argue it.