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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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

iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
tesla red orange bg feature

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Shots at Apple During Earnings Call

Monday July 26, 2021 4:53 pm PDT by
During a Tesla earnings call that took place today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent time sniping at Apple, reports CNBC. Musk criticized Apple's "walled garden" and made comments on the company's cobalt use. In a discussion about plans to allow Tesla competitors to use the Tesla electric vehicle charger network, Musk said that Tesla does not want to create a walled garden to "bludgeon" Tesla...
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....