Caltech Unleashes Legal Attack Dogs On Apple For Wi-Fi Patent Infringement

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech from here on out) has filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Broadcom claiming the two companies are using wireless technologies that infringe on various patents in its portfolio. Perhaps coincidentally, two of Apple's wireless products have since been pulled from store shelves.

Caltech's lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for Central California. In it, Caltech references patents it owns for IRA/LDPC encoders and decoders. According to Caltech's lawsuit, a range of Apple products use Wi-Fi technology that infringe on its patents, including certain model iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices, along with other Wi-Fi enabled products.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

"Apple manufactures, uses, imports, offers for sale, and/or sells Wi-Fi products that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and infringe the Asserted Patents. Apple products that incorporate IRA/LDPC encoders and/or decoders and infringe the Asserted Patents include, but are not limited to, the following: iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air [and] Apple Watch," the lawsuit states.

Caltech also directed its ire at Broadcom, which is one of Apple's biggest suppliers of Wi-Fi chips. Broadcom's chips can be found in the Apple Watch, several iPhone and iPad models, and certain Macs that support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, such as the MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and iMac.

Since the lawsuit was filed, Apple has pulled its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Wi-Fi base stations from stores in the U.S. It's not yet known if pulling those products is related to this case or not..

Caltech wants the court to grant a permanent sales injunction in the U.S. against the products it claims Apple and Broadcom are infringing on. It didn't specify how much it wants in damages, other than to say whatever is "just and equitable."