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Caltech ends $1 billion patent case against Apple and Broadcom

This is what the iPhone looked like when Caltech's legal case began

Caltech's seven-year legal battle over Apple and Broadcom allegedly using its Wi-Fi patents has now been settled.

The case was expected to be concluded after the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) said in a court filing in August 2023 that a "potential settlement [has been] reached." That filing gave no more details, but said that a previously-scheduled status conference would continue on August 24, 2023.

It was also reported that the three companies were due to file a new, joint status report by August 18, 2023. It's not clear now whether that happened on schedule, but according to Reuters, Caltech has now formally filed a "request for dismissal" of the case.

The full, and rather short, court filing says that the company wishes to "hereby request and stipulate that all claims and counterclaims... be dismissed with prejudice." It stated this specifically over its dispute with Broadcom, but then added another line about Apple.

"In addition, Caltech respectfully requests that all counterclaims asserted by Apple also be dismissed with prejudice, with each party bearing its own costs and attorneys' fees," it continues. "Broadcom does not oppose this request."

Dismissing the case "with prejudice" means it cannot be refiled.

The case began in 2016 with Caltech accusing Apple and Broadcom of violating four of its Wi-Fi patents. In 2020, it won the case, with Apple ordered to pay $838 million for patent infringement, and Broadcom to pay $270 million.

Naturally, Apple and Broadcom appealed, and in 2022 did get a new trial. Significantly, though, the new trial was concerned only with the amount of damages the companies were to pay — there was no question of overturning the guilty verdict.

None of the companies involved have commented publicly on the settlement.