Apple Ordered to Pay Caltech $838 Million for Infringing on WiFi Patents

Apple and Broadcom have been ordered to pay the California Institute of Technology a fine of $1.1 billion for infringing on Caltech's patents related to WiFi transmissions, reports Bloomberg.

Apple has been ordered to pay $838 million, while Broadcom has been ordered to pay $270 million, but Apple plans to file an appeal.


Caltech in 2016 filed a lawsuit against Broadcom and Apple, claiming that the two companies infringed on a series of patents granted between 2006 and 2012. The patents in question relate to IRA/LDPC codes that use simpler encoding and decoding circuity for improved data transmission rates and performance, with the technologies used in the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards supported by many Apple products.

At the time, Caltech said that Apple was infringing on four of its patents with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, Airport routers, and Apple Watch. Caltech demanded a jury trial and preliminary and permanent injunctions in the U.S. against Apple products using its technology. A jury today ruled that Apple and Broadcom violated three of the four patents.

Apple and Broadcom denied infringing on the patents and even filed counterclaims against Caltech, urging the court to invalidate the patents in question.

Apple claimed that because Caltech didn't file the lawsuit until 2016, six years after the 802.11n wireless standard was published, the time limit to collect damages had expired. Apple also argued that Caltech does not make, use, or sell products that practice the claims in the asserted patents.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


I can understand a for-profit entity going after patent violations, but educational institutions should be donating their work to the world for the greater good, I think. What's the motive behind this? Schools are not in the business of profiting from patents, are they?

Yes, they are. In US, schools need to make money to fund their research and since a lot of companies use their research without paying for it, schools are turning into patent trolls to get some funding.

Tuition isn't enough to pay for all of the advanced tech stuff that they use and even tuition is too expensive.

I agree with you that state-funded school research should be automatically in the public domain but that's not it works in USA.

In my opinion, patent trolls should not be allowed to file a lawsuit after 5 years and these type of patents should be automatically expired after 10 years. Software patents should be banned.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
Maybe that's why Apple's profits are so high, they haven't paid any patents costs.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
They should be donating their work to a private business? Apple should be donating it’s huge cash hoard for the world’s greater good instead of hoarding it in Ireland. How about we start there.


I can understand a for-profit entity going after patent violations, but educational institutions should be donating their work to the world for the greater good, I think. What's the motive behind this? Schools are not in the business of profiting from patents, are they?

Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
Apple should settle by donating $850M to Caltech scholarship fund.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago
I can understand a for-profit entity going after patent violations, but educational institutions should be donating their work to the world for the greater good, I think. What's the motive behind this? Schools are not in the business of profiting from patents, are they?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 weeks ago


Schools are not in the business of profiting from patents, are they?

The last time I looked most, if not all, educational facilities need more than smiles and candy-floss to keep the lights on let alone fund the student/staff educations and research programs. And the fact of the matter is they have a right to their intellectual property and claim upon its value just the same as anyone else.

if you look at it the other way this, if proven, is tantamount to stealing from the eduction of the future.

But it's sad that Apple seems to think there's a use by date for being fair to those who create technologies. Interesting that didn't seem to apply when they chased Samsung for their infringements.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

Apple Music Joins Music Industry's Blackout Tuesday Awareness Campaign

Tuesday June 2, 2020 1:31 am PDT by
Apple Music has cancelled its Beats 1 radio schedule for Blackout Tuesday and is suggesting that listeners tune in to a radio stream celebrating the best in black music. Blackout Tuesday is a campaign organized by the music industry to support Black Lives Matter after Minneapolis citizen George Floyd was killed by police in the course of his arrest. On launching Apple Music, many users...

Next Apple Pencil Could Be Released in Black

Tuesday June 2, 2020 10:25 am PDT by
The next iteration of the Apple Pencil could be available in black for the first time, according to leaker Mr. White who shared the tidbit on Twitter this morning. A mockup of an Apple Pencil in black We haven't heard rumors of a next-generation Apple Pencil and it's not clear when a new model might be released. Apple is rumored to be working on mini-LED versions of the iPad Pro, and it's...

iPad Pro With A14X Chip, 5G, and Mini-LED Display Expected in First Half of 2021

Wednesday June 3, 2020 6:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch new iPad Pro models with an A14X chip, 5G connectivity, and a Mini-LED display in the first or second quarter of 2021, according to the increasingly reliable Twitter account L0vetodream. The leaker claims that the new iPad Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, which supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz. mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

iCloud Down for Many Users, Causing 'The Application You Have Selected Does Not Exist' Error [Update: Fixed]

Tuesday June 2, 2020 4:44 pm PDT by
iCloud appears to be down for many people at the current time, based on complaints from MacRumors readers and Twitter users. Apple's system status page was not initially displaying an error when the problems started, but has been updated to confirm an issue with iCloud account sign ins. The support site says that some users may be unable to sign in to their iCloud accounts and may also be...

iOS 14 Again Said to Be Compatible With All iPhones Able to Run iOS 13

Monday June 1, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones and iPod touch models able to run iOS 13, according to information shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. The compatibility data was allegedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 and confirmed by what The Verifier says is a "trusted source from the system development process." iOS 13 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, with a full...

iPhone 13 Prototype Mockup Depicts Notch-Free Design and USB-C Port

Thursday June 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
We still have a few months to go before Apple unveils the iPhone 12, but rumors about the iPhone 13, coming in fall 2021, are already circulating. Japanese site Mac Otakara today shared a rough 3D printed mockup of a 5.5-inch iPhone said to be coming in 2021, which is from "Alibaba sources." The model may be built on leaked specifications and rumors, but where the info comes from is unclear. ...