Apple asks court to overturn $1.1 billion Caltech Wi-fi patent trial ruling

In a joint effort, Apple and Broadcom are trying to overturn the results of the January 2020 Caltech Wi-Fi patent trial, along with its $1.1 billion ruling against the two companies.

Caltech has accused Apple of selling various iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch models, along with other Wi-Fi products, that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders in Broadcom chips that allegedly infringe on Caltech’s patents.

Image: Apple logoWesley Hilliard for AppleInsider:

A new filing made by Apple and Broadcom on Thursday urges the court to overturn the results of the trial. The brief suggests that the original trial was conducted with “multiple legal errors.”

The patent trial that concluded in January 2020 found Apple and Broadcom guilty of infringing on patents owned by the California Institute of Technology for WiFi.

“These rulings unfairly prejudiced appellants,” the appeal brief [for Apple and Broadcom] said,” and greatly hampered their ability to rebut Caltech’s repeated emphasis at trial on the supposed importance of the patents-in-suit, which led to an enormous — and unwarranted — damages award.”

MacDailyNews Take: All of the university’s claims against Apple simply resulted from using Broadcom’s chips, which is why Apple says the company is “merely an indirect downstream party.” If anybody, Broadcom should be on the hook for this Caltech patent litigation, not Apple.


  1. When I was 5 years old, I drew a picture of an ON/OFF button. It resembles the button on the iPhone. The iPhone would not be able to function without this ON/OFF button. Since my ON/OFF button is so ‘essential’ to the functioning of the iPhone, I believe that I should be compensated to the tune of at least 1 billion dollars.

  2. IRA/LDPC is a standard set that goes back quite a ways. If I remember correctly the first paper published on Low Density Parity Check forward error correction coding was published around 1964 or before. How the USPTO issued a patent on this I will NEVER know.

    But sometimes the USPTO issues a patent for the most stupid things. Back in the 90s a friend of mine who is a patent attorney was approached by a major U.S. aerospace firm to patent an orbit for a satellite. I told my friend you can’t patent Newtonian Mechanics. He said, “Watch me.” After several iterations with the USPTO he got a patent issued for that for his client. Go figure.

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