Apple and Caltech resolve their seven-year patent dispute

Reportedly, the legal battle between Apple and Caltech relevant to wireless communication patents has been resolved. According to a Reuters report, Apple and Broadcom have signed a mutual agreement with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). There are no details about the terms and conditions of the settlement. However, the lawsuit filed by Caltech will be withdrawn with prejudice. The organization won’t be able to refile the lawsuit in the future.

In 2016, Apple and Broadcom were sued by Apple for several Wi-Fi patents. These patents covered encoding and decoding circuitry for enhanced data transmission and performance. The company targeted Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches in the lawsuit. Apple ultimately filed a countersuit in an unsuccessful attempt to have the patents declared invalid.

Later in 2020, a jury found that Apple and Broadcom had violated Caltech’s patents, and it ordered Apple to pay $838 million in damages and Broadcom to make a $270 million payment. It summed up to a total of $1.1 billion for both companies. It could be the biggest payout in US history regarding a patent dispute. Both companies appealed the court ruling. Afterwards, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stated that the payout was unjustified.

The appeals court stated that the prior court’s use of a two-tier approach to award damages based on various royalty rates was “legally unsupportable.” It was expected to be followed by a new trial that could recalculate the payouts for Apple and Broadcom. In August, the three concerned parties informed the court that they were conducting mutual talks to work out a potential settlement, and now it is official.

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