Apple's $1.1 Billion Patent Dispute With Caltech Granted New Damages Trial

Apple and its supplier Broadcom today convinced a U.S. appeals court to reject a jury verdict that required them to pay $1.1 billion for infringing on Wi-Fi patents that belong to the California Institute of Technology (via Reuters).

Apple Logo Cash Feature Yellow
In 2016, Caltech accused Apple and Broadcom of infringing on its patents related to the Wi-Fi technology used in many Apple devices. Caltech's patents, granted between 2006 and 2012, are highly technical and relate to IRA/LDPC codes that utilize simpler encoding and decoding circuitry for improved data transmission rates and performance. The technologies are implemented in both the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards used by many Apple products.

In the court filing with the U.S. District Court for Central California, Caltech accused Apple of selling various iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch models, along with other Wi-Fi products, that incorporate these IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and thereby infringe upon four of Caltech's patents. Broadcom, as one of Apple's main suppliers of Wi-Fi chips, was also named in the complaint. At the time, Apple used Broadcom chips in the Apple Watch, ‌iPhone‌, and ‌iPad‌, as well as the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac.

In 2020, a jury verdict ordered Apple and Broadcom to collectively pay Caltech a fine of $1.1 billion for the patent infringements. Apple was ordered to pay $838 million, while Broadcom was ordered to pay $270 million. Apple hoped to invalidate one of the patent claims, but this was subsequently declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today declared that the $1.1 billion award, which is one of the largest in U.S. history for a patent dispute, was not justified and ordered a new trial. The new damages trial will only reconsider Caltech's awarded sum, rather than revisiting the patent infringement itself.

Top Rated Comments

TEG Avatar
16 weeks ago

Good, Apple stealing tech should be punished. I wonder how Apple would feel if you used their technologies without being asked? Prepare to get homeless‘d.
It is part of the 802.11 standards. If anything the IEEE should be the one in hot water, not Apple or Broadcom.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ACHD Avatar
16 weeks ago

If it is part of a standard, the patents should no longer be enforceable, or any fees are paid by use of the standard.
It becomes part of the FRAND system where everyone basically pays the same fees.

In this case apple refused to pay the FRAND prices and this is something apple does often.
They refused to PAY for a PART that already has been made with the FRAND pricing built in.

APple basically took the tech, the design of others and copied it. Apple Was approached and notified and REFUSED to pay the FRAND price.

FRAND pricing is where a patent becomes unavoidable and MUST be made available to ANYONE at a fair price that anyone can or is willing to pay.

Apple did not sue and say the FRAND price was to much just that they didn't want to pay it. to date no one has really sued these owners of the patent for being TO EXPESNIVE which you can do with FRAND patents since they must be affordable and available to the publics.


This was apple being cheap
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mitochris Avatar
16 weeks ago
Were these patents under some open license agrement? I have a problem with universities making major money out of their work. They get tax benefits, get government funding or money via donations that are tax deductible. Their work should benefit all, as it is sponsored by all. If it was a minimal fee then ok, but the 1Billion sound like a major patent dispute.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bollman Avatar
16 weeks ago

You are assuming Apple is at fault. My question is that if the technology is part of a recognized industry standard and is built into Broadcoms chips, how is it that just Apple is violating the patents?
Apple has deep pockets. Makes them an easy target for stuff like this. Even if Caltech gets $100m, then they still win. That’s prob the budget of multiple departments there.
Both Apple and Broadcom where found at fault.
Broadcom decided that they do not want to pay for the license since they have no "product" that uses the patent, so the license costs are passed down to whoever buys the Broadcom chips and uses them in a product.
Apple thought that was a dumb idea and decided not to pay the license as Apple decided Broadcom should do it, and Broadcom insisted Apple should do it.
And here we are, neither paid the license, and both got sued by CALTECH.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TEG Avatar
16 weeks ago
If it is part of a standard, the patents should no longer be enforceable, or any fees are paid by use of the standard.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
16 weeks ago
This is one news article I am not permitted to discuss :-)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

oppo x rollable

Samsung Rumored to Launch First 'Rollable' Foldable Phone Later This Year

Thursday March 24, 2022 5:54 am PDT by
Samsung will add a third foldable device to its smartphone lineup this year that will likely feature a unique rollable form factor, according to a reliable leaker of Samsung's plans. Oppo X 2021 rollable phone concept The existing Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 have been relatively successful additions to Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10...
airpods 3 in ear

Apple Could Add User Authentication to AirPods

Thursday January 27, 2022 7:05 am PST by
Apple is exploring methods to bring user authentication to AirPods, a newly published Apple patent application shows. In a patent application titled "User Identification Using Headphones," filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Patently Apple, Apple explains how it can authenticate AirPods users using other nearby devices, ultrasonic signals, voice...
image 40

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 Allow You to Restore an Apple Watch Using an iPhone

Monday March 14, 2022 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple today published a new support document indicating that iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 allow an Apple Watch to be restored with a nearby iPhone. The support document states that if an Apple Watch running watchOS 8.5 or later displays an animation showing an Apple Watch and iPhone being brought close together, customers can follow the steps below to initiate the restore process:1. Make sure...
wi fi 7

MediaTek Demos Next-Gen Wi-Fi 7 Standard Boasting Near Thunderbolt 3 Speeds

Monday January 24, 2022 3:54 am PST by
MediaTek has conducted the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7 for "key customers and industry collaborators," paving the way for the wireless network technology to enter mainstream consumer hardware as early as next year, according to the company. Taiwan-based MediaTek said the demos demonstrated the ability of Wi-Fi 7 to achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be, the official name...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Deals: Get Up to $149 Off Apple's 2021 iPad Pro Tablets, Starting at $999 for 12.9-Inch

Tuesday February 8, 2022 6:28 am PST by
Today we're tracking a collection of iPad Pro discounts from Amazon and B&H Photo, offering up to $100 off 11-inch and 12.9-inch models. One of the most notable discounts is on the 128GB Wi-Fi 12.9-inch iPad Pro, available for $999.00, down from $1,099.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...
iPhone 14 Mock Feature Pruple 2

Kuo: iPhone 14 and Mixed Reality Headset to Feature Wi-Fi 6E

Wednesday November 17, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 14 and rumored mixed reality headset will feature Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In an investor note obtained by MacRumors, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that new Apple products, including the iPhone 14 and a head-mounted display device, will accelerate a broader industry upgrade to the Wi-Fi 6E specification. Motivated by the...
iPad Pro Deals Feature Yellow

Deals: Take Up to $150 Off 2021 iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPad in Latest Sales

Wednesday March 9, 2022 8:31 am PST by
In the wake of Apple's announcement of a new iPad Air at yesterday's "Peek Performance" event, today we're tracking numerous deals across the iPad family lineup. This includes deals on the 2021 iPad Pro, iPad, and iPad mini 6, with a few all-time low prices across these sales. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small ...
regent street apple

Apple Threatens to Leave UK Market Due to $7 Billion Patent Dispute

Monday July 12, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Lawyers representing Apple have suggested that the company could exit the UK market if the terms of an ongoing patent dispute are "commercially unacceptable" (via This is Money). UK patent holder Optis Cellular Technology is suing Apple for patent infringement after it refused to pay license fees worth around $7 billion for using "standardized" smartphone technology in its devices. Last...

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...