The Apple/Caltech patent infringement case is returning to court some two years after Apple was ordered to pay $838 million in damages. The new trial is not intended to revisit the question of actual infringement, but will instead concentrate on the sum that had been awarded to Caltech.
In addition to the amount Apple was ordered to pay, co-defendant and Apple chip supplier Broadcom had been ordered to pay an additional $270M, making the total sum awarded a fraction over $1.1 billion.
Caltech filed a 2016 lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom, accused Apple of selling Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models, as well as other products that use Wi-Fi technology, incorporating IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and thereby infringing upon Caltech’s four asserted patents in question.
Caltech said that Apple was infringing on four of its patents with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, Airport routers, and Apple Watch. The patents in question included U.S. Patent No. 7,116,710, U.S. Patent No. 7,421,032, U.S. Patent No. 7,916,781, and U.S. Patent No. 8,284,833.
Apple and Broadcom denied any infringing on the patents and filed countersuits against Caltech, urging the court to invalidate the patents in question. Apple said Caltech had waited too long to collect damages, as they had waited six years after the 802.11n wireless standard was published. The Cupertino firm also argued Caltech doesn’t make, use, or sell products that practice the claims in the contested patents.
The jury ruled in favor of Caltech’s argument that the patented technologies were “key to keeping Apple competitive in the cellphone market.” The three Caltech patents at the heart of the case related to Wi-Fi performance and balancing speed with factors like heat, power, and chip size.
Apple announced at the time of the verdict that it would appeal, and the Cupertino firm tried and failed to have the patents declared invalid.
No, it appears that Apple has received the okay to appeal the amount of the damages that were awarded.
As Reuters reports:
Apple Inc. and Broadcom Inc. won a new trial on damages in a patent-infringement case over California Institute of Technology patents on Wi-Fi technology after a U.S. appeals court vacated a $1.1 billion verdict.
A two-tier damage award of damages of $270 million against Broadcom and $837.8 million against Apple that involved different royalty rates from each of the companies based on the same theory of infringement is “legally unsupportable,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled.
The court also affirmed the jury finding that Apple and Broadcom infringed two CalTech patents, but ordered a new trial [on the damages].