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University wins $1.1bn battle with Apple and supplier over iPhone patents

Apple and the wifi chip company it uses for iPhones have been ordered to pay $1.1bn (£840.5m) to a university for infringing patents.

A jury handed down the verdict in favour of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) which claims the Broadcom wifi chips used in hundreds of millions of Apple iPhones infringed four of its data transmission patents.

The amount relates to how much Caltech believes it could have negotiated in royalties with the two companies in 2010 if they had struck a deal with the university before putting Broadcom chips into new Apple devices.

Apple said it plans to appeal the verdict, but declined to comment further on the case that was filed in federal court in Los Angeles in 2016 by the research university.

In court filings, Apple said it believed all the university’s claims against it came from the use of Broadcom’s chips in its devices, calling itself “merely an indirect downstream party”.

Broadcom did not comment.

The software products manufacturer is a major Apple supplier, with about a fifth of its sales coming from the iPhone maker in the 2019 fiscal year.

More from Apple

Last week, Broadcom said it had signed deals with Apple to sell as much as $15bn (£11.46bn) worth of chips over the next three and a half years to the tech giant.

Apple was ordered to pay Caltech $837.8m (£643.8m) and Broadcom to pay $270.2m (£207.6m).

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