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Apple told to pay $234 mn for using BITS graduates’ technology

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Washington: Tech giant Apple has been told to pay $234 million to the intellectual property arm of Wisconsin University, Madison, for using without permission patented technology developed by its team, including two Indian-American engineers.

The award amount a federal jury in Madison asked to Apple to pay Friday was about $165 million less than what Wisconsin University Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) had sought, according to Wisconsin State Journal. The case centres on technology that became a component of processors that run widely popular Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

Gurindar Sohi and Terani Vijaykumar, both electrical and electronics engineering graduates of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, were part of the four-member WARF team which developed the technology.

US District Judge William Conley, who presided over the trial, complimented the lawyers on their professionalism and spoke to Wisconsin University-Madison computer sciences’ Professor Sohi, who led the WARF technology team, seated in the courtroom.

“For Dr. Sohi, I hope you felt that your invention was vindicated,” Conley was quoted as saying.

“This is a case where the hard work of our university researchers and the integrity of patenting and licensing discoveries has prevailed,” said Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF.

“The jury recognized the seminal computer processing work that took place on our campus. This decision is great news for the inventors, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and for WARF.”

Apple attorneys declined to comment, referring questions to the California company’s public relations office, the Journal said.

Spokesperson Rachel Tulley said only that Apple plans to appeal.

The jury also ruled that a subset of processing chips produced in Texas by Samsung under contract for Apple, then exported to Korea, still infringed on WARF’s patent.

The jury also ruled that although those chips were produced by Samsung, Apple controlled their production.

WARF sued Apple in January 2014, claiming that Apple infringed on one of WARF’s patents in creating a processor for its popular mobile devices, starting with the iPhone 5S in 2012.

On Tuesday, the jury agreed that Apple’s use of the technology was an infringement of WARF’s patent.

The technology, first incorporated into Apple’s A7 processor and used now in the A8 and A8X processors, makes the processors work faster and more efficiently, and extend battery life by as much as two hours.

According to WARF complaints, the patent titled “Table-Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer” was issued to Andreas Moshovos, Scott Breach, Terani Vijaykumar, and Gurindar Sohi in 1998 as a result of their “labour and ingenuity”.

“The invention disclosed and claimed in the patent has been recognized by those in the art as a major milestone in the field of computer microprocessing,” the complaints stated.

“This work has been recognized as a major milestone in the field of computer microprocessor architecture/design,” lawyers for WARF wrote in the compalint.

“Indeed, Dr. (Gurindar) Sohi, the leader of the lab that developed the ‘752 patent, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering based on his work in the field of computer architecture,” they added.

WARF had also asserted that Apple wilfully infringed on its patent, a claim that withstood a summary judgment motion in August.

But on Thursday night, after hearing testimony from Apple’s witnesses during the trial’s damages phase, Conley reconsidered and dismissed the wilfulness claim.

(Arun Kumar, IANS)

 

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Apple’s Head Of Search and Head of Siri’s Advanced Development quits Amidst Siri Reshuffle

According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures

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According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures. Pixabay

Apple’s Head of Search Vipul Ved Prakash and Tom Gruber, Head of Siri’s Advanced Development Group, have quit the company which is currently reshuffling its Siri team.

According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures.

One of the original Siri co-founders, Gruber “will be pursuing personal interests in photography and ocean conservation”.

Prakash joined Apple in 2013 after Apple acquired the search engine and analytics firm Topsy where he served as a CEO.

“The deal was valued at upwards of $224 million. Apple shut down Topsy two years after its acquisition,” reports 9to5mac.com.

Revealing its future plans, Apple last week formally announced to make ex-Google executive John Giannandrea its Chief of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

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Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems. Flickr

Reporting to CEO Tim Cook, Giannandrea who joined Apple in April will be in charge of Apple’s ML division, Siri and the Core ML team.

Giannandrea will look after further development of Core ML and Siri technologies.

According to media reports, Apple lags behind from Google and Amazon in key AI areas like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision needed to power voice assistant features in Siri.

Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems.

Also Read-Apple Gets a New AI Chief to Oversee Siri, Machine Learning

In 2017, Apple added an AI chip called Neural Engine to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X to work with the Image Signal Processor (ISP). (IANS)