Apple to review the $ 1.1 billion fine for Caltech patent infringement

With their motives, Apple and its supplier Broadcom managed to convince the United States Court of Appeals to reject a jury verdict demanding payment of a $ 1.1 billion fine for infringing on Caltech’s Wi-Fi technology patents, the California Institute of Technology, US private university based in the city of Pasadena.

The whole matter dates back to 2016, when Caltech took the two companies to court claiming that several Apple products integrated components of Broadcom, a company accused of “stealing” the patents. During the trial, Caltech’s attorneys had argued the existence of a hypothetical licensing agreement signed in 2010 that would have brought about $ 1.40 for each Apple device and 26 cents for each Broadcom device in its coffers. This calculation was adopted by the jury to quantify the fine.

The patents in question, granted between 2006 and 2012, relate to IRA / LDPC codes that use simplified encoding and decoding circuits to improve data transmission speeds and performance. The technologies are implemented in both the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards used by many Apple products.

In the allegations filed in the Central California District Court, Caltech accused Apple of marketing several models of the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, as well as other Wi-Fi-enabled products, which integrated these technologies, thereby infringing four its patents. Caltech also pointed the finger at Broadcom, one of Apple’s leading Wi-Fi chip suppliers, which at the time was making chips for the Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac.

In 2020, a first verdict from the jury ordered the two companies to pay a $ 1.1 billion fine to Caltech because they are found guilty of these violations. Specifically, Apple was ordered to pay 838 million dollarsBroadcom to pay 270 million dollars. Apple opposed it but got a refusal from the US Court of Appeals.

The sentence of the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit, arrived today, declared the fine “not justified” and ordered a retrial which, rather than reviewing the infringement of the patent itself, will have the task of reconsidering the sum to be paid. to pay.

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