Billion Dollar Jury Verdict for CalTech

I posted WiLan’s $85 million verdict against Apple earlier this week out of the Southern District of California.  A new verdict on Jan 29, 2020 looks to set-back Apply by another $837 million (in favor of the patent owner California Institute of Technology). Apple’s setback dwarf’s the parallel Broadcom verdict in the case of $270 million.  The verdict form is not yet publicly available — the courtroom was sealed for much of the damages trial on the request of Broadcom and Apple.  Craig Clough at Law360 reports that the verdict included $1.40 per device for Apple’s 600 million infringing devices and $0.26 per chip for Broadcom’s billion+ Wi-Fi chips.

U.S. Patent Nos. 7,116,710, 7,421,032 and 7,916,781.

37 thoughts on “Billion Dollar Jury Verdict for CalTech

  1. 7

    Are any of these 3 jury infringement damages verdicts against Apple potentially “enhanced” [up to trebled] by the D.C.judge for willful infringement? [Of, reduced as excessive?]
    Since awards of this size usually result in a Fed. Cir. appeal, especially by Apple, it seems possible that there could be significant Fed. Cir. decisions here on the [not very clear] subject of calculating “apportionment” of damages where the patent is only on a small part of the product, as here. Or even a Sup. Ct. decision, given their taking up of that issue for design patents in Apple v. Samsung.
    Including perhaps the effect of utility patent claim drafting of “aggregation claims” [no longer a PTO objection] or the often-cited type-example of “I claim an automobile, said automobile having at least one cup holder comprising [..inventive features of the cup holder per se..].

    1. 7.1

      …so many anti-patent holder spins in one post [some even may merit discussion on the merits — but sadly obscured by the very evident bias of Paul’s presentation]…

  2. 6

    What was this quarter ? Like 54 billion in profits for Apple. As an Apple consumer myself, no question they are building on a network effect. Even these ‘big judgments’ are just rounding errors for Apple. Meh, they should probably get more pragmatic patent advice. To be sure, it’s a kings game now.

    1. 6.1

      Revenue is different from profit.

      1. 6.1.1

        Certainly true, but still, two billion is hardly chump change, now is it?

        1. 6.1.1.1

          As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen reportedly said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

          1. 6.1.1.1.1

            How to become a millionaire by Malcolm Mooney.

            Step one, start with a billion dollars…

  3. 5

    Totally intangible and abstract, but not much argument about eligibility. Surely eligible in my scheme. I wonder how reasonable those royalty rates are? The patents are subject to FRAND licenses. That award is probably several percent of production cost of the entire device.

    We will never know, but I imagine the history of settlement discussions would be interesting.

    1. 5.1

      … because somehow a damage per device is “totally intangible and abstract”…

  4. 4

    Now two recent posts about massive jury verdicts against apple.

    Will this change the narrative that the patent system is burning? Doubt it. To some, facts do not matter…

    1. 4.1

      As was noted below, it is a bit premature to know whether this counts as a “fact” of any significance. I am with you that it could be strong evidence against a silly but popular narrative, but it is not yet clear that is such evidence.

      1. 4.1.1

        silly but popular narrative

        So speak Greg “I Use My Real Name” DeLassus (admitting an absence of facts, but indulging in mindless ad hominem nonetheless).

        And he wants to pass judgment on conversations that he professes that he does not even see…

        O’Tay.

    2. 4.2

      Quasar18
      Federal Circuit: hold my Alice torch.

    3. 4.3

      Facts…

      What facts do you think that two cases amount to given the entire patent ecosystem?

      I am curious as to what your background is. Quasar18.

      1. 4.3.1

        Quasar18 is an anonymous blog typer. And what is your background, anonymous blog typer?

        1. 4.3.1.1

          Worked in and with innovation – doing it, managing it and then back to law school and now protecting it.

          But you already knew that.

          But since I asked you first, Shifty, what is your line of work?

          1. 4.3.1.1.1

            I was the heavyweight champion of the world, and then thought it best to keep the cure to cancer for my close friends. How do you know I’m telling the truth, anonymous blog typer?

            1. 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Lol, the punchline is different:

              How do I know that you are lying?

              Your lips are moving.

              Ba-doom.

            2. 4.3.1.1.1.2

              How do you know I’m telling the truth, anonymous blog typer?

              Of course, we do not know. Same goes for any other anonymous/pseudonymous participants around these parts. Assertions that [X] went to a top notch law school, or that [Y] has worked in this field for two decades, or that [Z] got the top grade in his con law class—such claims are worth exactly as much as you pay for them. The anonymous/pseudonymous have no more authority behind their assertions than they can provide on the spot with citations to cases, statutes, CFRs, etc.

              Bring receipts or be ignored.

              1. 4.3.1.1.1.2.1

                … the fallacy of “I Use My Real Name”….

                As we all have seen Greg “whip it out” and yet continue to pontificate on topics outside of his ‘credentials.’

                Also, at point here, is the context of the answer provided (to a direct question). Of course, since Greg blocks any answer, he cannot see that context, and the fact that he “uses his real name” is immaterial to ANY authority that that real name brings him.

                Receipts won’t help him there.

          2. 4.3.1.1.2

            “Worked in and with innovation” [translation — McDonalds !!! or maybe Taco Bell?] – “doing it, managing it” [congrats!! management at last; free fast food?] “and then back to law school” [2nd, 3rd try; where?] “and now protecting it.” [what law school is he/she protecting? Has the law school been notified?]

            1. 4.3.1.1.2.1

              That’s cute.

              Is that related to your line of work?

    4. 4.4

      ??? Meaning they should now get the true market value with an injunction ?

    5. 4.5

      I strongly suggest that you wait until you read the news of these companies actually COLLECTING on these verdicts before you jump to such conclusions.

  5. 3

    I wonder if there has ever been a patent suit defendant like Apple? That is, a defendant that has sold hundreds of millions of physical products, with so many different features, [at such high profit margins] all within the enforceable lifetimes of millions of existing patents? Are they the all time great whale-hunter-killing “Moby D…” of patent suit defendants?

  6. 2

    Are all three of these recent jury awards against Apple really “efficient infringement”?
    They do seem to display Apple’s policy of fighting patent suits all the way through jury trials, as well as their huge exposure and patent suit incentives given their hundreds of millions of sold products.

    1. 2.1

      I wonder if there has ever been a patent suit defendant like Apple? That is, a defendant that has sold hundreds of millions of physical products, with so many different features, [at such high profit margins] all within the enforceable lifetimes of millions of existing patents? Are they the all time great whale hunter killing “Moby Dick” of patent suit defendants?

      1. 2.1.1

        To stretch this thin “great american novel” analogy further, Apple itself, lead by Captain Ahab [patent hater] Steve Jobs, had gone on a long worldwide hunt for another smartphone great whale, Samsung, with a surprising shortage of patent harpoons.

      2. 2.1.2

        … defendants…

        I wonder if there is ever any anti-patent holder spin that Paul won’t engage in…

        I wonder if Paul is even aware of how badly his bias shows in his comments…

  7. 1

    As with WiLAN’s win against Apple, let’s all meet back here in 2030 to see if CIT actually gets paid for their infringed innovations.

    Again; see VirnetX.

    1. 1.1

      Exactly. I will know that this is significant when I read that Apple has actually paid. As yet, the significance is still uncertain.

    2. 1.2

      A tragic commentary on the U.S. civil justice system. Jury verdicts do not matter.

      1. 1.2.1

        I agree. Probably a long, long way from getting a check.

        1. 1.2.1.1

          I wonder if there are any objective third-parties that figure out the odds of them getting paid. E.g., would SV Bank give them a loan on the judgement? A percentage of the judgement?

          1. 1.2.1.1.1

            There are, of course, investment firms that buy verdicts, usually for pennies on the dollar.

          2. 1.2.1.1.2

            VirnetX market cap is less than one third of the damages awarded for a single infringer.

            1. 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Ahhh. Right you are Josh. The stock price would tell us how much people think the judgement is worth.

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