Caltech Settles $1.1B Patent Fight With Apple

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Caltech Settles $1.1B Patent Fight With Apple

In what reads like a modern-day David and Goliath tale, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has finally ended its colossal legal skirmish with tech giants Apple and Broadcom. This dispute, which revolved around patents for data transmission systems and had a staggering $1.1 billion at stake, has been a mainstay in the Golden State’s federal courts since 2016.

Caltech Settles $1.1B Patent Fight With Apple : The Judge’s Final Verdict

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu played a pivotal role in this high-stakes drama, giving his official nod to a mutual agreement of dismissal. This decision effectively quashes, once and for all, the myriad claims and counterclaims exchanged between Caltech, Apple Inc., and Broadcom. Each party will bear its own legal expenses, a detail that resonates with the autonomy of the decision.

A Pact with Future Implications

The settlement, veiled in secrecy, carries an intriguing clause. It grants Apple a defensive stronghold, allowing it to retaliate with full force should Caltech or any other entity dare to challenge the same patents in the future. This clause adds an interesting twist to the narrative, hinting at a cautious truce rather than a warm reconciliation.

Caltech Settles $1.1B Patent Fight With Apple : The Curtain Falls on the Dispute

Despite the buzz this settlement has generated, the specifics remain shrouded in mystery. Caltech, Apple, and Broadcom have kept the details under wraps, only revealing that the agreement took effect on September 22. Their silence extends to the media, with no immediate responses to inquiries about the settlement’s finer points.

A Tale of Claims and Counterclaims

This legal odyssey saw its share of twists and turns. Initially, Caltech accused Apple and Broadcom of infringing upon three of its patents, integral to Wi-Fi chips used in countless Apple devices. In a dramatic 2020 verdict, a jury sided with Caltech, awarding over $1.1 billion in damages. However, this victory was short-lived as the Federal Circuit later nullified the damages, deeming Caltech’s theory legally unsupportable.

Caltech Settles $1.1B Patent Fight With Apple : The Path Not Taken

Had this settlement not materialized, the parties would have found themselves locked in a retrial over damages. Apple and Broadcom’s attempts to challenge the Federal Circuit’s decision fell flat, with the court refusing a rehearing and the U.S. Supreme Court declining to intervene.

The Legal Eagles Behind the Scenes

The legal masterminds representing the warring factions were James R. Asperger, Kevin P.B. Johnson, and Todd M. Briggs from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP for Caltech, and Richard L. Wynne Jr., Adrienne E. Dominguez, Robert K. Jain, Mark D. Selwyn, and James M. Dowd from Holland & Knight LLP and WilmerHale for Apple and Broadcom.