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
86 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
86 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
86 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
86 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
86 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
86 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)

Top Stories

flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
jaguar car homekit

User Adds Car to HomeKit for In-App Controls and Automations, Showing Future Potential

Thursday April 15, 2021 6:17 am PDT by
Blogger Siobhán Ellis has successfully integrated their electric car into their Apple HomeKit setup, adding in-app toggles for door locking, climate control, and more. The setup, which is outlined in detail on the blog Practical HomeKit, allows multiple elements of a Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle to be monitored, controlled, and automated using the Home app. Using a HomeBridge plugin for ...
siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...