Tom Still: A little about a lot: Patent lawsuits, jet fuel from plants, angel investing and more

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.

A little about a lot of things:

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation isn’t the only organization accusing Apple Inc. of infringing on a high-tech patent. A few days after WARF filed suit against the technology giant, a Texas-based company did the same based on a different complaint.

WARF, the patenting and licensing arm for the UW-Madison, filed suit Feb. 3 in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin’s Western District, alleging Apple infringed on discoveries by four professors. At issue is whether Apple’s A7 processor – used in the iPhone 5S, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display – incorporates technology developed by Gurindar Sohi and three others in 1998.

Hilltop Technology LLC filed suit against Apple a few days later, accusing the company of infringing on Hilltop’s work in developing a “Capacitive Type Touch Panel” used in touchscreen devices and modules.

With a reported $140 billion in cash on hand, Apple is a big litigation target. Then again, Apple can outlast and outspend most challenges to its intellectual property, whether it feels the allegations are fishing expeditions or not. An exception to that legal war of attrition could be WARF, which has $2.4 billion in assets and has proven in past infringement cases it’s up to the fight.

Read the full column