Talking tech since 2003

The last couple weeks have been rife with stories about companies signing cross-licensing agreements for each other’s patents. But this is not one of those stories. A post on Neowin reports that the University of Wisconsin has filed suit against Apple over patent infringement.

The patent in question is one owned by the university from way back in 1998, which concerned “executing instructions in a microprocessor out of order so it can perform tasks faster,” says an article in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel about the suit. The university alleges that the A7 processor used in the iPhone 5S and a few different models of the iPad make use of that patent.

An important note in this suit is that the university claimed Intel had infringed on the same patent back in 2009, and Intel settled with the university for an undisclosed amount in licensing fees. It stands to reason, then, that Apple will follow much the same path this time around.

This is also not the first instance of Apple being the target of an infringement suit from a university. Back in July, Apple was sued by Boston University over a patent for an electronic semiconductor used in Apple’s various lines of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. And how did that end? With a settlement, just last month.

The irony in all of this, of course, is the ongoing courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung. Last month, we got news that the two companies were finally sitting down to hammer out a licensing agreement to put an end to the never-ending legal shenanigans. Considering the number of high profile cross-licensing agreements we’ve heard about and the growing number of suits filed against Apple, I’m betting that the company will follow the path of least resistance and finally work out a cross-licensing deal of its own. At a certain point, you want to stop paying so many legal fees and just focus on making cool stuff, right?


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