A U.S. appeals courtroom on Friday threw out a jury verdict ordering Apple Inc. and Broadcom Inc. to pay $1.1 billion to the California Institute of Expertise for infringing its Wi-Fi know-how patents, and ordered a brand new trial on damages.
The U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Federal Circuit mentioned the January 2020 award by the federal jury in Los Angeles, one of many largest ever in patent instances, was “legally unsupportable.”
It additionally upheld the jury’s findings that Apple and Broadcom infringed two Caltech patents, and ordered a brand new trial on whether or not they infringed a 3rd patent.
Caltech had sued Apple and Broadcom in Might 2016, alleging that tens of millions of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and different units utilizing Broadcom chips infringed its data-transmission patents.
The jury had ordered Apple to pay Caltech $837.8 million and Broadcom to pay a further $270.2 million.
Caltech spokeswoman Shayna Chabner mentioned the Pasadena, California-based college was assured that the worth of its patents can be “absolutely acknowledged” at a brand new damages trial.
Neither Apple nor Broadcom instantly responded to requests for remark.
Apple is a significant purchaser of Broadcom chips, and in January 2020 reached a $15 billion supply agreement that ends in 2023. Broadcom has estimated that 20% of its income comes from Apple.
Caltech’s damages mannequin had been based mostly on an argument that the college might have concurrently negotiated a license with Apple for units containing Broadcom chips, and a license with Broadcom for chips used elsewhere.
Writing for the appeals courtroom, Circuit Choose Richard Linn rejected that idea.
“The mere proven fact that Broadcom and Apple are separate infringers alone doesn’t help treating the identical chips in another way at completely different phases within the provide chain,” Linn wrote. “Caltech’s two-tier damages idea is legally unsupportable on this document.”
Caltech has additionally sued Microsoft Corp, Samsung Electronics Co, Dell Applied sciences Inc and HP Inc for alleged infringement of the identical patents. These instances are pending.
(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Modifying by David Bario, Matthew Lewis and Richard Chang)
Crucial insurance coverage information,in your inbox each enterprise day.
Get the insurance coverage business’s trusted e-newsletter