A legal battle between Apple and VirnetX that dates back nine years has seen a new development today, with a $503 million judgment from 2018 against Apple for patent infringement vacated by an appeals court and the case sent back to a lower court for reconsideration, reports Reuters.

virnetx apple
The result is a mixed one for Apple at this point, with the appeals court finding only a partial reversal in affirming infringement by Apple on two counts and reversing on two other counts. The appeals court is sending the case back to district court to determine whether revised damages against Apple can be calculated or if a new damages trial will have to be held.

The case in question is just one of two involving Apple and VirnetX over communications security patents related to VPN, iMessage, and FaceTime. Apple is currently on the hook for $440 million in the other case, but appeals remain in progress.

Tag: VirnetX

Top Rated Comments

RyanXM Avatar
36 months ago

Apple is so hard to defeat.
VirnetX are patent trolls, plain and simple. They do not use anything they have in their "patent portfolio" and simple sue to make money. East Texas is super friendly to them, which makes you wonder if there are kickbacks involved. Google, Apple and others have all been sued by them.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
36 months ago

VirnetX are patent trolls, plain and simple. They do not use anything they have in their "patent portfolio" and simple sue to make money. East Texas is super friendly to them, which makes you wonder if there are kickbacks involved. Google, Apple and others have all been sued by them.
The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.


There will be no tears for the patent troll.

I hate patent trolls.... they seek out vaguely worded patents on half-baked methods that might describe some innovation and when somebody ACTUALLY INVENTS and CREATES something that is fully baked and actually works and provides something good the patent trolls dig through their piles of stale patents to find something vaguely similar to the wording in the patent, they dust off the patent and file a lawsuit. The justice system should impose penalties on these guys for stifling innovation.

Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
36 months ago

VirnetX are patent trolls, plain and simple. They do not use anything they have in their "patent portfolio" and simple sue to make money. East Texas is super friendly to them, which makes you wonder if there are kickbacks involved. Google, Apple and others have all been sued by them.
So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roar08 Avatar
36 months ago

The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.



Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
I agree with the spirit of the patent system. But the patent system is being greatly abused in very real ways that do in fact stifle innovation. The spirit of the system is to protect inventors of all sizes. The reality is it's being used in an exploitative manner in many documented circumstances. Somewhat recently, Cloudflare did a great job not only standing up to one of these firms, but actively sought to invalidate all their patents. It's a good read:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/standing-up-to-a-dangerous-new-breed-of-patent-troll/
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ikir Avatar
36 months ago

Samsung didn't copy the iPhone, the ruling in that case was about Samsung violating 2 or 3 patents which is no different than the ruling in this case.
Are you joking? They even copied 30-pin dock icon on chargers. They copied everything they were able to copy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoSciGuy Avatar
36 months ago

So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?

The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.



Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
In 2018, the city of Oakland, California and other cities in the East Bay passed ballot measures creating a vacant lot tax. This was put in place to incentivize development and punish people holding onto land for speculative purposes.

What if a similar law was put in place regarding patents? It would reward those actually developing the technology of each patent while punishing people that aren’t developing each patent. Undeveloped patents are like undeveloped vacant lots. If they can’t develop the patent and don’t want to be fined, they sell the patent to a company that can develop it.

It would force patent troll companies to dump all their patents very cheaply and sell to companies that would actually develop and utilize the patents.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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