Patent lawsuits are a matter of life for any tech company and the bigger you are, the bigger the target painted on your back. Many of these lawsuits go unnoticed, especially when filed against giant companies that can make them disappear. Apple, however, wasn’t able to win one against the California Institute of Technology and now has to pay the university what is perhaps its biggest patent-related damages sum in its history.
This patent lawsuit definitely flew under most radars, especially considering how long the case dragged out. Nothing unusual for lawsuits and is sometimes even a tactic to wear out the other side. CalTech, as it is commonly called, sued both Apple and Broadcom over patents related to wireless data transfers way back in 2016 and has now claimed victory and no less than $1.1 billion in total for damages.
The patents in question were allegedly used in Broadcom chips that were, in turn, used in Apple products. These products, which named in the lawsuit, covered nearly all of Apple’s devices, including iPhones, iPods, Macs, HomePods, and even the discontinued AirPort wireless routers. This makes the lawsuit and its initial verdict one of the biggest that Apple has faced and, according to Bloomberg, the sixth-largest of all time.
Broadcom is naturally questioning the factual and legal basis of the verdict but Apple is also challenging how much CalTech is entitled to in damages. On Apple’s part, it argues that the claims are based solely on the infringing Broadcom chips being incorporated in Apple products.
That said, Apple is the one that is paying the larger portion of the damages, $837.8 million, while Broadcom is being fined with $270.2 million. Naturally, both will be appealing the verdict, though that could only end up lowering the amount instead of overturning the verdict.