Apple, Broadcom win new damages trial in $1.1 billion Caltech patent case

Apple and Broadcom won a new trial Friday in a patent case that will force them to pay Caltech $1.1 billion. Previously, a jury ruled in 2020 that the two companies infringed patents related to Wi-Fi technology in iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices between 2010 and 2017. 

Caltech sued Apple and Broadcom in 2016, saying the companies infringed on the university's patents related to wireless data transmission. Apple has argued in court filings that it should not be involved in the lawsuit because, like many other phone makers, it uses off-the-shelf Broadcom chips.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the award, saying it was unreasonable, and ordered a new trial. The court said the "two-tier" system for compensation, which involved vastly different royalty rates for each company, was legally untenable.

An appeals court on Friday affirmed a 2020 jury finding that Apple and Broadcom infringed two Caltech patents, but ordered a retrial for the third.

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