VirnetX Wins Another $502.6 Million Award From Apple in Patent Trial

VirnetX was today awarded $502.6 million in a patent trial against Apple, reports Bloomberg. Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features are said to infringe on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

Apple's legal dispute with VirnetX has spanned eight years and multiple trials thus far, and the $502.6 million awarded to the patent company today is separate from the $439 million awarded to VirnetX in October in a different trial. Today's $502.6 million jury award appears to pertain to newer versions of Apple devices that have a redesigned FaceTime protocol introduced in iOS 7 and iOS 8.

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VirnetX CEO said the damages awarded, which were based on sales of upwards of 400 million Apple devices, were "fair" and that the "evidence was clear."

VirnetX originally sued Apple in 2010, alleging that Apple's FaceTime peer-to-peer connection technology infringed on its patents. VirnetX was initially awarded $368.2 million in 2012, but the original case has been wrapped up in appeals since then. In October of 2017, Apple was told to pay $439.7 million in a final judgement of the original case, which the Cupertino company said it would appeal.

Combined, Apple now owes VirnetX $942 million, but Apple is likely to appeal this most recent ruling so that may not be the final award granted to the patent company. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has also said that the patents involved in the case are invalid in separate cases that are being handled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

A final validity ruling has not been made yet, and the outcome of that case could ultimately impact this trial. The Federal Circuit declined to put the current trial on hold despite the question of the patent validity, says Bloomberg, because it was so far along.

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Top Rated Comments

TheMacDaddy1 Avatar
81 months ago
Does VirnetX hold patents relating to iMessages in the Cloud too?!
VirnetX originally had 4 patents related to LTE. They have never used one to sell an actual product. They have over 100 now. Nothing they created, just bought up. 90% of their employees are lawyers.

They define the term "Patent Troll".
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lyoha Avatar
81 months ago
which in turn defines the word "irony"... apple does exactly the same thing with patents, so...
Apple has products on the market. The definition of a patent troll includes holding patents but not having a product.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CWallace Avatar
81 months ago
What if I want to license my invention to a large company, because I don’t have the millions (or billions) required to go into production? Suddenly I’m a troll just for creating something but not producing it myself?
No, because you:

1) Actually invented something and patented it, rather than looked through existing patents and bought them;
2) Licensed it with the intention it would actually be used in a product.

"Patent Trolls" do not develop Intellectual Property - they buy existing IP that is broadly and vaguely defined to maximize it's potential applicability. They then use that "war chest" of purchased patents to sue as many companies actually making product as possible to generate income from those patents.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diazj3 Avatar
81 months ago
VirnetX originally had 4 patents related to LTE. They have never used one to sell an actual product. They have over 100 now. Nothing they created, just bought up. 90% of their employees are lawyers.

They define the term "Patent Troll".
which in turn defines the word "irony"... apple does exactly the same thing with patents, so...
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
81 months ago
The suit was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

This tells you everything you need to know. This is where all patent trolls file, because the district is pro-patent troll.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimthing Avatar
81 months ago
I don’t buy that definition. IMO, the actions taken by owners of patents is what defines them as trolls, not the organization of their company. A company that make products could act like a troll and a company that only owns patents could behave ethically and not be a troll.

If I’m a small independent inventor, and I come up with a new invention, then I’m supposedly a patent troll because I don’t actually manufacture anything? What if I want to license my invention to a large company, because I don’t have the millions (or billions) required to go into production? Suddenly I’m a troll just for creating something but not producing it myself?
These companies are purely patent holding as their raison d'etre. They intend to do absolutely nothing with said patents, and lie in wait to pounce on any company that uses similar technologies; the latter usually having no knowledge of said (usually highly obscure) patent even existing.

Hence patent troll being an apt description of their business model.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)