Caltech Agrees To Halt Patent Fight With Apple, Broadcom – Report

A long running patent battle has come to an end this week, after an agreement was reached with a big name in the tech space.

Reuters reported that the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has reached an agreement to end a patent lawsuit against Apple and its supplier Broadcom over Wi-Fi chips.

The lawsuit began back in 2016, when Caltech sued Apple and Broadcom, alleging that millions of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other Apple devices using Broadcom chips had infringed its wireless-communication patents.

Patent dispute

According to Reuters, Caltech said in the Wednesday filing that it would dismiss the billion-dollar case with prejudice, which means that it cannot be refiled.

Both sides reportedly told the court in August that they had reached a “potential settlement” without disclosing additional details.

Representatives for Caltech, Apple and Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday, Reuters reported.

A jury had ordered Apple to pay $837.8m and Broadcom to pay $270.2m in patent-infringement damages in 2020.

Reuters reported that a US appeals court overturned the award in 2022 and ordered a new trial on damages, finding the amount was “legally unsupportable.”

A trial that had been scheduled to start in June 2023 had been postponed indefinitely in May.

Caltech also reportedly settled a related lawsuit against Samsung in August.

The university has also reportedly sued Microsoft, Dell and HP over its Wi-Fi patents in cases that are still pending.

Apple, Broadcom

Apple and Broadcom have a relationship going back a number of years.

Apple is said to be Broadcom’s biggest customer, and apparently reportedly accounted for 20 percent of Broadcom’s revenue in the last financial year, or nearly $7 billion (£5.7bn).

But it should be noted that Broadcom is also facing some challenges with Apple.

For example Apple is making more and more components inhouse. In January it was reported that Apple was planning to cease using a key Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip from Broadcom in its iPhones in 2025.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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