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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Say cheese.

Apple could owe an American university almost $900 million in patent damages

By Dan Frommer

Smartphone makers are plenty used to patent battles—there was a time when seemingly every mobile handset manufacturer was suing one another over phone patents. But Apple has a new foe now: The company could owe up to $862.4 million in patent damages to the licensing arm of a major US public university, Reuters reports.

A jury has found that Apple, without permission, used chip technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in many of its popular devices, including recent iPhone models, according to Reuters. Intel, the leading PC chip maker, had settled with the university’s patent arm in 2009 just before trial, Reuters says.

Apple had argued the patent, which is from 1998, is invalid. Now the trial—in Madison, Wisconsin—will move to assessing damages.

While $862 million is no small sum to any company, Apple will be able to handle it. The company generated more than $50 billion in profit over the past four reported quarters, largely from its iOS devices.