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Caltech Sues Apple And Broadcom Over Wi-Fi Patents

Caltech took Apple and Broadcom to court in a technology patent infringement case. The university claims that four of its Wi-Fi patents are being deployed in a large assortment of Apple’s products.  ( Apple )


Caltech recently filed a legal complaint against Apple and Broadcom, accusing the companies of illegally making use of its proprietary Wi-Fi patents.

The case shows that four of the university’s patents were used by Apple in its manufacturing process.

In the lawsuit, Caltech points out that Apple deployed the patents in almost every product since the iPhone 5, and it was aware that it infringes intellectual property rights while doing so.

Caltech says that one of the purposes of the lawsuit is to stop sales of the products and recover damages.


Apple was asked to comment but did not release any official statement.

The patents in question are essential to the harmonious functioning of 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the most recent standards in the field. The plaintiff states that its patents “allow for faster data transmissions.” What is more, the tech makes it easy for a manufacturer to simplify the hardware required for high-speed Wi-Fi.

According to MacRumors’ report, the patents went live between 2006 and 2012.

Apple is not the only defendant in the case.

Broadcom, the company that supplies iPhones, MacBooks and other Apple devices with Wi-Fi chips, is also part of the legal issue.

While smaller tech companies sometimes push lawsuits in order to boost their finances off old patents, universities tend to do so out of principle and with solid evidence backing their case. When it comes to damages, the organization simply says that it wants to receive “adequate” compensation. Caltech refused to mention a specific value money-wise.

Last year, Apple was called in court by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a tech patent infringement regarding CPU performance.

The jury concluded that the A7, A8 and A8X processors used in in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and some of the iPad variants made use of unlicensed technology. As the said technology was patented by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Apple was found guilty.

The iPhone manufacturer was forced to pay damages of $234 million to the university. It can be said that Apple got off easily, as the maximum amount of damages that Apple could have paid was a whopping $862 million.

Caltech’s suit may or may not have something to do with the disappearance of Apple’s Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme routers from the shelves.

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