Apple and Broadcom have been slapped with penalties for infringing the patents owned by Caltech. The university has a set of patents related to Wi-Fi technology which it accuses Apple and Broadcomm of infringing. A California jury decided in less than five hours that the university’s patents were being infringed and now both the companies have to pay a heavy fee.

Apple Buys Spectral Edge for Enhancing iPhone Photography

“We are pleased the jury found that Apple and Broadcom infringed Caltech patents,” said a CalTech representative 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.”

Lawyers representing Caltech argued that if a licensing deal was made in 2010 for chips used in Apple products, the university would get $1.40 per device from Apple and 26 cents from Broadcom. By this, it was decided that a $838 million penalty would be slapped on Apple and a $270 million would be slapped on Broadcom.

It was in 2016 that Caltech first filed the lawsuit, claiming violations of its patents (four to be specific) related to encoding and decoding technology (IRA/LDPC). The components are used in Apple’s products such as the iPhone, the iPad, Macs, Apple Watch, and more. These devices ship supporting 802.11n and 802.11ac WiFi technologies.

However, Apple argued that it used wireless chips supplied by Broadcom without having developed any “encoding and decoding” technologies. The company added that if it had not developed any such solutions, how it could have in any manner infringed on the patents owned by the university.

Apple does not appear to be satisfied however, as the company has said that it will appeal the ruling. The Cupertino company and Broadcom are longtime partners and they also signed multi-year agreement just last week.


Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.