U.S. Solicitor General Urges Supreme Court to Reject Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Broadcom’s (NASDAQ: AVGO) Appeal in Landmark Patent Infringement Case
U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has strongly recommended that the Supreme Court reject the appeal lodged by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO). This appeal stems from their substantial $1.1 billion defeat in a high-stakes patent infringement case against the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Solicitor General Prelogar affirmed the correctness of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling last year. The court ruled that both Apple and Broadcom could not contest the validity of Caltech’s patents in court. This ruling was made because Apple failed to raise its arguments regarding the patents’ invalidity during the U.S. Patent Office review process.
The legal battle originated in 2016 when Caltech, headquartered in Pasadena, California, filed a lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom in a federal court in Los Angeles. The institute accused the companies of infringing upon its data-transmission patents through millions of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and other devices equipped with Broadcom Wi-Fi chips.
Furthermore, Caltech has also initiated separate legal actions against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Samsung Electronics Co, Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL), and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) for allegedly infringing upon the same patents. These cases are currently awaiting resolution.
In 2020, a jury delivered a verdict in favor of Caltech, ordering Apple to pay $837.8 million, while Broadcom was directed to pay $270.2 million. However, the Federal Circuit expressed concerns about the amount awarded and remanded the case for a fresh trial on damages, which is yet to be scheduled.
Apple and Broadcom had argued before the Federal Circuit that they should have been permitted to challenge the patents’ validity during the trial. Nevertheless, the appeals court upheld the decision to bar the invalidity arguments, citing Apple’s failure to raise them in previous petitions for patent office review.
The companies contended that the Federal Circuit misinterpreted the law, asserting that it solely restricts arguments that could have been presented during the review process.
In response to these arguments, Solicitor General Prelogar has supported the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the law, reinforcing the court’s decision as correct and appropriate.