(Adds background to the case, sections 3-8)
By Andrew Chung
WASHINGTON, October 7 (Reuters) – The US Supreme Court on Monday refused a hearing from the University of Wisconsin's patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple Inc in a battle over computer processor technology that the school claims the company used without permission on certain iPhones and iPads.
The justices, on the first day of their new term, declined to consider a 2018 lower court decision to throw $ 506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 ruled that the company violated the university's patent.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) licensing body filed lawsuits in 2014 alleging infringement of a 1998 patent on a "predictor circuit" to help increase the way processors execute computer program instructions. The patent was developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his university students, located in Madison, Wisconsin.
WARF, which helps patent and commercialize the university's inventions, claimed that Apple incorporated the technology in A7, A8 and A8X processors found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad tablet.
Apple disputed the claims, saying that the processor worked differently based on the specific language described in WARF's patent.  A 2015 federal jury in Madison ordered Apple to pay $ 234 million in damages. A judge later added additional damages and royalties based on Apple's continued infringement through the expiration of the WARF patent in December 2016, and issued a $ 506.1 million judgment against Apple in 2017.
But the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized the patent court in Washington, overturned last year's jury and said that based on the "simple and common" meaning of the patent, Apple could not have violated it.
WARF appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Federal Circuit erred in ignoring the jury's understanding of the patent and its role in determining the facts of the case. At the very least, the WARF asked the judges to return the case to the court so that it can present more evidence. (Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)