Title: Caltech Settles Wi-Fi Patent Dispute with Apple and Broadcom
Caltech, the prestigious California Institute of Technology, announced a settlement on a long-standing legal battle with tech giants Apple and Broadcom over a Wi-Fi chip patent dispute that has been ongoing since 2016. The settlement effectively dismisses the case with prejudice, preventing it from being filed again.
Initially, Caltech claimed that millions of Apple devices, incorporating Broadcom chips, infringed upon its valuable Wi-Fi patents. Following a court battle, Caltech was awarded a staggering $1.1 billion by a jury in 2020. Under the ruling, Apple was ordered to pay $837.8 million, while Broadcom was required to pay an additional $270.2 million.
However, Apple appealed the decision, and a federal appeals court later overturned the award, deeming it “legally unsupportable.” Consequently, a new trial was scheduled, but it was postponed indefinitely and set to take place in June of this year.
In a surprising turn of events, both Caltech and Apple-Broadcom recently informed the court that they had reached a potential settlement, without disclosing any further details back in August. This settlement puts an end to the ongoing legal dispute, providing a resolution for all parties involved.
The patent in question encompasses crucial technology used in the development of the widely adopted 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards. Interestingly, it should be noted that the original purpose of this technology was unrelated to Wi-Fi applications.
Broadcom plays a significant role as a supplier to Apple and has recently signed a monumental $15 billion agreement to provide chips for future Apple products. This settlement could potentially strengthen their collaboration and cooperation going forward.
Although the lawsuit with Apple and Broadcom has reached a settlement, Caltech still has pending Wi-Fi patent cases against other tech giants, including Samsung, Microsoft, Dell, and HP. The outcome of these pending cases remains to be seen.
The resolution of this high-profile patent dispute suggests a willingness among these tech giants to resolve such matters outside of court. It also emphasizes the significance of intellectual property rights in the rapidly evolving tech industry, where innovative technologies often become subject to legal disputes.
Caltech’s settlement not only brings this particular dispute to an end but may also serve as a signal to other companies involved in similar legal battles to explore amicable resolutions rather than protracted legal proceedings.