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Apple To Face Off With Caltech Over Patents

It looks like the never-ending series of patent fights being waged in the courts has gotten two new high-profiled combatants in the ring with each other.

Apple and Caltech will be facing off in court over Wi-Fi chips, and whether or not Apple's use of them constitutes a violation of a patent held by the university. Caltech argues, in a suit filed late last week, that Apple intentionally and knowingly advertised gains from technology patented by Caltech in every iPhone model after the iPhone 5. The suit seeks to recover damages from the infringement and block the sale of the contested products until such a settlement is reached.

Apple, according to reports, has no official comment on the suit.

The specific patents at issue relate to 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the two most recent standards. The patents "allow for faster data transmissions," and hardware simplifications. The patents were granted between 2006 and 2012.

Apple is not the only named party in the suit. Broadcom, which creates the Wi-Fi chips used in the iPhone and MacBook, also faces the claim of infringement. In fact, Broadcom is the core target of the case. Apple is included because, according to the Caltech, Apple is one of Broadcom's largest clients and represents about 14 percent of the company's revenue.
While patent troll suits are common, Caltech is far from the profile of a patent troll, meaning many think the suit may well have merit. Apple suffered a negative ruling over a university patent last year and was ordered to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison damages of $234 million for infringing a patent regarding processor performance.



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