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
13 months 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
13 months 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
13 months 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
13 months 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
13 months 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
13 months ago
This is one news article I am not permitted to discuss :-)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iOS 16

When Will the iOS 16.4 Beta Be Released?

Wednesday February 1, 2023 11:09 am PST by
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened. Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come...