Apple Plans to Appeal $439M 'Final Judgment' in FaceTime Patent Lawsuit With VirnetX
VirnetX today announced that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has denied all of Apple's motions in a longstanding FaceTime-related patent lawsuit between the two companies.
The court also granted all of VirnetX's motions in the retrial and increased the royalty rates that Apple owes during the infringement period, resulting in a revised final judgment amount of $439.7 million.
"We are elated with the Court's Final Judgement of $439 million in that not only did it affirm the jury's verdict of $1.20 per infringing iPhone, iPad and Mac Product, but also added for willful infringement, interest and attorney fees. This is the third time a jury has ruled in our favor against Apple," said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO.
VirnetX originally sued Apple in 2010 over allegations that FaceTime's peer-to-peer connection technology infringed upon its patents. VirnetX won its case in 2012, and Apple was hit with a $368.2 million judgment, but the appeals and retrial process has dragged on for over seven years until now.
Of note, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is a hotbed for patent infringement lawsuits given several favorable outcomes for patent holding entities like VirnetX. Some would even call the company a patent troll, although it does appear to offer at least one product of some kind.
A spokesperson for Apple confirmed that it plans to appeal this final judgment, according to TechCrunch. It noted that the motions can still be appealed even if the original case was already appealed and lost.
Top Rated Comments
Their founding owners were directly related to the U.S. national security establishment - and forced Apple to abandon encrypted phone to phone connections (no middle server)...Apple had to go to server pass through at the time. VirnetX had a patent on the direct client to client technology and wouldn't license it to Apple - not because it wasn't enough money, just wouldn't license it. Not sure where things stand now. But they weren't the only faux patent company the NSA etc. directly controlled and probably still control....
Also, as previously noted, Apple was part of a consortium that created a notorious patent troll called Rockstar.
In any case, VirnetX is not what most people call a troll, since they invented what they license, and do have app and library products using their patents.
On the contrary, Apple DID manage to get a design patent on a rounded rectangle. Here it is. (Dashed lines don't count.)
Apple awarded design patent for actual rounded rectangle - Ars Technica ('https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/apple-awarded-design-patent-for-actual-rounded-rectangle/')
Apple did not try to sue Samsung using the more detailed actual iPad design patent. It wouldn't have worked, as none of Samsung's tablets had a round Home button or the same exact shape. So instead, Apple tried to use the above generic rounded rectangle patent.
The attempt failed. Along with courts all over the world, even the first set of California jurors decided that Samsung's tablets did not infringe it.
(Note: Apple did that themselves by proxy, when the consortium they belonged to bought Nortel patents and then created a patent holding company that did nothing but reverse engineer software to find infringements.)
VirnetX is different. Its officers are mostly the guys who actually invented what they license. Basically, they're living the American inventor's dream of coming up with something that lots of people will want to use and pay for. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever.
Worse, Apple's own internal documents showed that they knew they were infringing VirnetX patents, but went ahead anyway.
Many plaintiffs like East Texas and Delaware courts because they are quick, have technical experience, and especially because they favor patent holders.
In a similar way, Apple prefers northern California courts which seem to favor home state companies.
Likewise, Motorola used to favor filing in their home state of Illinois.