Apple Ordered to Pay $302 Million in Damages to VirnetX in Patent Retrial

Apple has been ordered to pay more than $302 million in damages for using VirnetX Holding Corp's patented internet security technology in its FaceTime platform without permission.

According to a Reuters report filed late on Friday, the verdict was handed down by a federal jury in Texas that has a reputation for awarding favorable verdicts to plaintiffs in cases involving patent infringement.

The U.S. district judge presiding over the case, Robert Schroeder, previously threw out VirnetX's $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused.

The case with Nevada-based patent licensor VirnetX originally began in 2010, with a jury eventually awarding the company $368 million in 2012, but that decision was thrown out in 2014 after the court decided there were problems with how the trial judge had instructed jurors on calculating damages.

VirnetX continued to pursue Apple in relation to patents it believes the company infringed upon. The previous two suits were combined by the licensor's lawyers, and in February, a jury returned with an even bigger verdict, $625.6 million – one of the highest ever in a U.S. patent case.

However, Schroeder later voided the result, saying that the repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple.

In the latest trial, reports Reuters, jurors were asked to determine damages on two VirnetX patents that Apple had already been found to infringe, and to determine both infringement and damages on another two patents. The final $302.4 million award was in line with what VirnetX had been demanding.

Neither Apple nor VirnetX have commented on the latest case, although Cupertino will surely exhaust all avenues for appeals before accepting the result. In the meantime, it is facing another court proceeding over whether it willfully infinged the patents, which could lead to higher damages.

Apple is also set to contend with the trial in a second lawsuit filed by VirnetX over newer versions of Apple security features, as well as its iMessage platform.

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago
How do you seek permission for vague software patents that should never be awarded and for which there is no product to compare to? Software patents need to stop or be 3 years only unless the company has an active product and then they should be maybe 5 years. Software patents are just a dumb idea. Software copyrights are a good idea. That way people cannot steal code.
Rating: 39 Votes
43 months ago
Ridiculous how high that award is. Something really needs to be done about patent trolling in the United States.
Rating: 29 Votes
43 months ago
Patent trolls offices, visited

Rating: 24 Votes
43 months ago
China will become leading country in technology development soon, while everyone in US will be developing....eee...lawyers :)
Rating: 18 Votes
43 months ago

What is it people have against "patent trolls"? So what if they have no product. Is making the product the hard part or coming up with the idea the hard part. If people think making the product is the hard part, then why are those same people angry when Samsung has a smartphone that looks like an iPhone?
Rating: 14 Votes
43 months ago
This isn't just some patent troll case, SAIC was a huge part of this and has actual working government level products using the tech.
Rating: 12 Votes
43 months ago

So is Apple guilty of infringement of patent rights or not ... this article just talks about getting the case dismissed on technicalities related to the judicial process.

It was previous high awards that had been dismissed. This trial was about redoing those awards and adding some others.

How do you seek permission for vague software patents that should never be awarded and for which there is no product to compare to?

No need. The patent holders approached Apple and Apple refused. So then the patent holders sued. This is pretty common, as Apple has a policy of refusing license requests and taking them to court.

This isn't just some patent troll case, SAIC was a huge part of this and has actual working government level products using the tech.

Yes, and most of the VirnetX officers are the actual inventors of their core patents. They're not what most people consider patent trolls.

Yeah, it is amazing how many patent cases are handled there.

Plaintiffs like East Texas and Delaware courts because they are quick, have technical experience, and favor patent holders.

In a similar way, Apple prefers northern California courts which favor home state companies and seemingly, their lawyers' style. Likewise, Motorola used to favor filing in their home state of Illinois.
Rating: 10 Votes
43 months ago

Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
Win some, lose some, overall Apple is winning.

Maybe Apple should have sought permission and saved itself a headache.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
And for all those crying foul about patent trolls

I do hope you realize that Apple is part of a large consortium of patent trolls. They are one of the founding members of "RockStar COnsortium" whose primary motivation is to purchase existing patents to use in either defense or litigation.

so lets get off the "Patent troll" high horse and look at this case with more factual, and objective lenses.

A legal patent holder had a patent awarded. Apple used technologies that infringed on patent. When the patent holder came asking for a license deal, Apple told them to go away, but continued to use the technology. That company had to sue in order to protect their legal rights as a patent holder. Apple lost.

At the end of the day, Apple could have avoided this by doing one of two things. Change the technologies they were using to not infringe, OR pay the license fee. INstead they chose to purposefully and willfully infringe on the patent, and forced VirnetX to sue them.
Rating: 8 Votes

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