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Apple asks courts to overturn $1.1 billion Caltech Wi-fi patent trial ruling

Apple and Broadcom once again seek to reverse Caltech decision

In a joint effort, Apple and Broadcom are trying to overturn the results of the January 2020 Caltech Wi-Fi patent trial, which resulted in $1.1 billion in fines applied to the two companies.

A new filing made by Apple and Broadcom on Thursday urges the court to overturn the results of the trial. The brief suggests that the original trial was conducted with "multiple legal errors."

The patent trial that concluded in January 2020 found Apple and Broadcom guilty of infringing on patents owned by the California Institute of Technology for WiFi. Apple sought to invalidate the patent at the heart of the suit in March, but failed.

During the trial Caltech's lawyers argued a hypothetical licensing deal in 2010 for chips used in iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and other products would have brought in some $1.40 per device from Apple and 26 cents each from Broadcom. That calculation was adopted by the jury to apply an $838 million fine for Apple and accompanying $270 million fine for Broadcom.

"These rulings unfairly prejudiced appellants," the appeal brief said," and greatly hampered their ability to rebut Caltech's repeated emphasis at trial on the supposed importance of the patents-in-suit, which led to an enormous — and unwarranted — damages award."

According to Law360, Caltech says that Apple's and Broadcom's conduct had been "truly egregious." Caltech asked the court to push the payment up to over $2.2 billion after lawyer and damages were calculated. In August, the judge added only $66 million in fines, citing that he would wait on calculating additional fees until the appeal had been handled.

Apple is usually in a legal battle of some kind over patents or antitrust concerns. Currently, the most publicized trial is Apple versus Epic as Epic games seeks to open its own app store on Apple's platforms.