Qapla! Apple fined $234 million for stealing Warf’s idea

worfFruity cargo cult Apple has escaped mega-fines for stealing a university’s idea for improving the performance of computer chips.

The fruity cargo cult could have faced a billions of dollars’ worth of fines but in the end will only have to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) $234 million.

The damages were reduced because US District Judge William Conley, who is presiding over the case, ruled that Apple had not wilfully infringed WARF’s patent, eliminating a chance to triple the damages in the case.

WARF wanted $400 million in damages.

Apple said it would appeal the verdict on the sound legal ground that everyone knew it invented everything and it was part of its religion to steal other people’s technology while suing others for poaching its beloved rounded rectangle.

WARF Managing Director Carl Gulbrandsen was happy with the verdict.

The jury found that Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violated the patent.

WARF sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of its 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit,” developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students.

Apple claimed that WARF deserved less than even the $110 million the foundation settled with Intel after suing that company in 2008 over the same patent. Of course Intel did not have to be dragged to court and admitted that it might have used the idea.

Apple insisted that WARF’s patent entitled it to as little as 7 cents per device sold, a far cry from the $2.74 that WARF was claiming.

In court, Apple was told off for trying to refer to WARF as a patent troll. In fact WARF uses the income it generates to support research at the school, doling out more than $58 million in grants last year.

It is still not over for the fruity cargo cult. Last month, WARF launched a second lawsuit against Apple, targeting the company’s newest chips and devices, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and iPad Pro.

It would appear that Apple’s belief that it invented everything and can defend this religious belief using expensive lawyers is not paying off – at least in this case.