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 Wi Fi featured
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.

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Top Rated Comments

MikhailT Avatar
57 months 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)
hagjohn Avatar
57 months ago
Maybe that's why Apple's profits are so high, they haven't paid any patents costs.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robjulo Avatar
57 months 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)
ikramerica Avatar
57 months ago
Apple should settle by donating $850M to Caltech scholarship fund.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
57 months 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)
Infinite Vortex Avatar
57 months 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)