Apple, Broadcom Win Damages Trial in $1.1 Billion CalTech Patent Case

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated $1.1 billion in damages against Apple and Broadcom in the California Institute of Technology patent case, saying the damages were not justified, via CNET). 

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Back in 2016, CalTech sued Apple and Broadcom alleging the companies infringed on the university’s patents related to wireless data transmissions. Apple argued that it shouldn’t have been involved in the lawsuit because it was using off-the-shelf Broadcom chips, like many other handset makers. 

In 2020, a jury ruled that the companies infringed patents linked to Wi-Fi tech in iPhones, iPads, Macs and other devices from 2010 to 2017.

In today’s ruling, the court said that the “two-tier” system used to award damages, which involved “vastly different royalty rates” for each company, was “legally unsupportable.” 

The appeals court, however, did affirm the 2020 jury’s finding that Apple and Broadcom infringed on two CalTech patents but ordered a new trial related to a third patent.