After a US appeals court vacated a $1.1 billion verdict the school won in 2020, Apple Inc. and Broadcom Inc. will face a new trial on damages in an infringement case involving California Institute of Technology patents on Wi-Fi technology.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled that a two-tier damage award of $270.2 million against Broadcom and $837.8 million against Apple, which involved different royalty rates from each company, is “legally unsupportable.”
The jury award in January 2020 was one of the largest patent cases in US history. The court also upheld the jury’s decision that Apple and Broadcom had infringed on two CalTech patents, but ordered a new trial on a third patent. One of the three judges on the panel said he would have thrown the whole case out, believing none of the patents was infringed.
The case has been remanded to a Los Angeles court for a new trial on patent infringement and a determination of how much Broadcom and Apple should pay.
CalTech expressed its gratification that the patents’ validity and a portion of the infringement findings were upheld.
“Caltech’s inventions in the field of data communications, which are now widely used in Wi-Fi products because they significantly improve the quality, bandwidth, and range of wireless data transmission, have been recognised with this award.” “According to a statement released by the school on Friday. “We are confident that the patents’ value will be fully recognised at the retrial on damages.”
The high damages award was based in part on Apple’s wide range of products, which were accused of using the university’s inventions for wireless data transmissions. Broadcom chips, as well as any Apple smartphone, tablet, or computer with one, were the target of the lawsuit.
CalTech claimed it would have negotiated two licences: one with Broadcom for chips not sold to Apple, and another with Apple for devices that included Broadcom chips “at a vastly different royalty rate.” “based on personal opinion/
“The mere fact that Broadcom and Apple are separate infringers does not justify treating the same chips differently at different stages in the supply chain, nor does it justify presenting such a two-tier damage theory to the jury,” the court wrote “The Federal Circuit made its decision. “In the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, a higher royalty for the same device at a different point in the supply chain is not available, “The court has ruled.
A different three-judge Federal Circuit panel in a separate case involving patent claims against Apple ordered a new trial on damages in an $85.23 million verdict won by Quarterhill Inc.’s Wi-Lan over a method of allocating bandwidth in wireless communications.
The court found that Wi-damages Lan’s expert employed a “flawed” methodology that was “untethered to the facts of this case,” as well as that the trial court erred in ruling that Apple iPhones with Intel Corp. chips had a perpetual licence to the Wi-Lan patent.
California Institute v Broadcom, 20-2222, and Apple Inc. v. Wi-Lan Inc., 20-2011, both from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, are the two cases (Washington).