Judge throws out $1.1 billion Caltech patent case ruling against Apple and Broadcom, and orders new trial

On Friday, Apple and Broadcom won a new trial in a patent case that would have seen them pay $1.1 billion to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). A judge tossed out the ruling stating the amount of damages awarded were not justified and ordered a new trial.

Caltech sued Apple and Broadcom in 2016 alleging the companies infringed on the university’s patents related to wireless data transmissions. In response, the Cupertino tech giant said it should not have been named in the lawsuit since it was using off-the-shelf Broadcom chips. Broadcom supplies the Cupertino tech giant with radio-frequency chips used in devices like iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch. In January 2020, both companies reached a $15 billion supply agreement that ends in 2023.

In January 2020, a jury ruled that Apple must pay Caltech $837.8 million, and Broadcom must pay $270.2 million in the patent case regarding Wi-Fi technology. Both companies appealed the ruling. 

Judge throws out $1.1 billion Caltech patent case ruling against Apple and Broadcom, orders new trial

Court declared Caltech’s $1.1 billion in damages was unjustified in the lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom 

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit threw out Caltech’s lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom saying they were not justified. The court said the “two-tier” system used to award damages, which involved “vastly different royalty rates” for each company, was “legally unsupportable.” As reported by Reuters:

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O) on Friday convinced a U.S. appeals court to throw out a jury verdict requiring them to pay $1.1 billion for infringing California Institute of Technology patents related to Wi-Fi technology used in iPhones and other Apple devices.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the award, one of the largest in U.S. history for a patent case, was not justified by the record, ordering a new trial.

The appeals court did corroborate the 2020 jury’s conclusion that Apple and Broadcom infringed on two CalTech patents but ordered a new trial for the third patent.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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