Apple loses bid to invalidate ‘obvious’ patent in Caltech damages suit

Apple and Broadcom are facing a bill of $1.1 billion for infringing patents belonging to the institute.

Apple has failed to invalidate one of the patents at the heart of a $1.1 billion lawsuit in which both Apple and Broadcom must pay damages to Caltech for patent infringement. 

As reported by Reuters, on Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed Apple's plea to ignore and invalidate the patent on the grounds of its "obviousness."

As a result, Apple and Broadcom's bill will remain the same; at least, for now. 

The patents relate to wireless communications. According to Bloomberg Law, the patent in dispute is US Patent No. 7,116,710, described as a method of encoding a signal comprising of data blocks. 

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The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) sued Apple and Broadcom in 2016, alleging that both technology vendors were infringing on patents belonging to the institute. Caltech claimed that Broadcom chips, used in Apple devices, used technology that had not been licensed. 

Apple and Broadcom denied any wrongdoing, but a Californian court did not agree and has ordered Apple to pay $837.8 million, while Broadcom has a bill of $270.2 million. The iPad and iPhone maker claimed in court that the firm should not be involved in the lawsuit whatsoever as an "indirect downstream party."

Caltech says the institution is "committed to protecting its intellectual property."

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This lawsuit may not be going the way the iPad and iPhone maker hoped, but it is only one of Apple is involved in worldwide. Another case of note is that against Corellium, a company which offers virtualized copies of popular operating systems including iOS and Android. 

Corellium says that its products can be used by researchers to find and flag security vulnerabilities without damaging their devices, thereby benefiting the cybersecurity industry as a whole. The software is also only available to established researchers and vendors, rather than the general public. 

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However, Apple does not take this view and filed a lawsuit against the company in August 2019, alleging that Corellium is infringing on the tech giant's intellectual property. 

Corellium has recently released a tool that allows users to install Android on older iPhone models, a move that may further increase Apple's ire. 

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