According to Reuters, in a surprise move today the judge almost doubled the $234 million put forward by the jury after first being hit with $862.4 million in damages when originally found guilty in 2015.
According to the claim, the technology was created by a professor and three students at the university who were granted a patent in 1998 and is enforceable through the university's patent licensing arm, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Not only is the company embroiled in a legal battle with Qualcomm that could see a ban placed on some United States iPhones, but it's also been ordered to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm for patent infringement. The chip, in turn, went in to power several generations of Apple devices such as the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus, along with several iPad models.
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is the group that sued Apple in 2014, and although the most recently ordered fine is significant, the group had intended for an even more damaging figure of $862 million to be inflicted on Apple. The ruling was announced by U.S. District Judge William Conley. Apple found itself on the losing end of an infringement lawsuit from the group in October 2015 when a jury ruled the A7, A8, and A8X processors were using technology covered by a patent the school holds.
Apple is going to have to feed a recognized patent troll hundreds of millions of dollars for infringing on a patent that has to do with processor efficiency. In 2015, a jury awarded WARF $234 million in damages after jurors determined Apple was violating the University's patent. Conley has said he would not rule on that case until Apple has an opportunity to appeal the original jury verdict.
Unsurprisingly Apple is now looking to appeal Conley's ruling, but so far they have yet to publicly comment on it.