The U.S. solicitor general on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal by Apple and Broadcom stemming from their $1.1 billion trial loss to the California Institute of Technology in a patent infringement case.
Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was correct when it ruled last year that the companies could not seek to invalidate Caltech’s patents in court after Apple failed to raise its invalidity arguments at the U.S. Patent Office.
Pasadena, California-based Caltech sued Apple and Broadcom in Los Angeles federal court in 2016, alleging millions of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other devices with Broadcom Wi-Fi chips infringed its data-transmission patents.
A jury in 2020 ordered Apple to pay Caltech $837.8 million and Broadcom to pay $270.2 million. The Federal Circuit took issue with the amount of the award and sent the case back last year for a new trial on damages, which is yet to be scheduled.
Apple and Broadcom told the Federal Circuit that they should have been allowed to challenge the patents’ validity at trial. Duh. The patent-focused appeals court upheld the trial judge’s decision to block the companies from making the arguments because they could have raised them in their petitions for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review of the patents.
The companies appealed that decision to SCOTUS last September. They told the justices that the Federal Circuit misread the law, which they said only bars arguments that could have been raised during the review itself, not in the petition.
MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the expediency of the U.S. judicial “system.”
MacDailyNews Note: The case is Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 22-203.
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The solicitor general is probably getting kickbacks from the patent troll firms to fight anyone trying to make it easier to overturn patents. Why should the executive branch care about this?