Back in 2012, patent holding company VirnetX won a patent lawsuit against Apple over virtual private networking (VPN) connectivity related to Apple's FaceTime video calling feature. VirnetX was awarded $368.2 million after a jury trial.

virnetx_logo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today threw out the decision, reports The Wall Street Journal, ruling that the verdict was influenced by the instructions given to the jury during the trial.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized Washington-based court that handles patent appeals, ruled the verdict was "tainted" by erroneous jury instructions in the case. The court also held some trial testimony from a VirnetX expert should have been excluded from the case.

Despite siding with Apple and reversing some of $368 million verdict, the court did rule that Apple infringed on some of the claims in VirnetX's patents, which means damages will need to be redetermined.

As a result of today's appeals court verdict, Apple and VirnetX will go back to trial court for further proceedings, further drawing out a lawsuit that first began in 2010.

Top Rated Comments

Rudy69 Avatar
125 months ago
So...does this mean we can finally get back peer to peer FaceTime so we get better quality?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
125 months ago
Back in 2010 we learned that the judge was known for a willingness to rule in favor of plaintiffs in patent disputes. His jury instructions were apparently biased in the same way, and it caught up with him this time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The WOPR Avatar
125 months ago
So...does this mean we can finally get back peer to peer FaceTime so we get better quality?

I am hoping this happens in the future. I use FaceTime regularly and noticed a significant drop in quality after they changed their service due to the lawsuit.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
125 months ago
So...does this mean we can finally get back peer to peer FaceTime so we get better quality?

I used tcpdump to check and confirmed that FaceTime is usually Peer to Peer again. I'm guessing Apple found a workaround for the patent at some point and quietly fixed it.

Basically, call quality was notably good so I had to investigate to see if it was still going through a bounce server. I was pleased to find packets going directly to and from the other person's network instead of AWS. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cartaphilus Avatar
125 months ago
Bill of Rights be damned, huh?

The Seventh Amendment requires only "trial by jury", and doesn't specify that the jury must be made up only of ordinary randomly-chosen people, although I would agree that a Federal jury of judges is unconstitutional. The Fifth Amendment, which provides for "due process" is offended when a litigant's rights are determined by an under-educated, under-sophisticated, and under-intelligent jury which can't possibly be relied upon to weigh the scientific and engineering issues of fact on which a patent case often turns. I love juries, and when it comes to deciding who is telling the truth and who is lying about events that occur in ordinary life, I trust a lay jury over any alternative. I just don't believe a randomly-selected lay jury is the best way of determining whether a violation of an issued patent has occurred. There is an excellent and balanced law review article on this subject that I'd recommend:

http://www.stlr.org/html/volume2/fisher.pdf (http://www.stlr.org/html/volume2/fisher.pdf)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
125 months ago
Personally, I'd just like to have back the functionality we lost when we moved from iChat to FaceTime. Specifically, the ability to have three way video, and easily control someone else's computer.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
M3 iPad Feature 3

Apple Event for New iPads Still Considered 'Unlikely' Following Delays

Tuesday April 9, 2024 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is "unlikely" to hold an event to announce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, according to sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman already said Apple was not planning to hold an event for the new iPads, but he made this claim back in early March, before it was reported that the devices were postponed due to manufacturing delays. With the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...