CalTech awarded $1.1 billion in patent infringement case against Apple and Broadcom
Both firms are seeking to appeal the verdictBy Cal Jeffrey
It's only a decimal point: It's a good thing Apple turned in a record-breaking first quarter for the 2020 fiscal year, but it can go ahead and knock off the point-eight from the $91.8 billion in profits it reported. It has been ordered to pay nearly a billion dollars in damages for patent infringement.
The California Institute of Technology (CalTech) has been battling the tech giant along with chip supplier Broadcom since 2016 over Apple's use of WiFi chips that it alleged were based on its designs. The school claimed that since 2012 iPhones have been using wireless technology that it developed in violation of four of its patents.
On Wednesday, a jury concluded that both companies had infringed on CalTech's intellectual property. The $1.1 billion verdict has Apple paying the school the lion's share of the damages at $837.8 million, which is nearly one percent of its Q1 2020 earnings. Broadcom was ordered to pick up the remaining $270.2 million in restitution. Shares for both companies dipped after the judgement was announced yesterday afternoon.
"We are pleased the jury found that Apple and Broadcom infringed Caltech patents," the school said in a statement. "As a non-profit institution of higher education, Caltech is committed to protecting its intellectual property in furtherance of its mission to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education."
Reuters notes that Apple unsurprisingly plans to appeal the decision. Its defense has been that it is an "indirect downstream party." It holds that it only purchased chips from Broadcom and had no part in their design. Therefore, it should not be responsible for the damages, let alone the majority share.
Broadcom also intends to appeal.
"While we thank the members of the jury for their service, we disagree with the factual and legal bases for the verdict and intend to appeal," the chipmaker said in a statement.
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