Apple Pays VirnetX $454 Million for Patent Infringement After U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Apple's Appeal

Apple has paid VirnetX a total of $454,033,859.87 following the conclusion of a long-running patent infringement battle, VirnetX announced today.


The patent dispute between VirnetX and Apple dates back to 2010 when VirnetX accused Apple's FaceTime feature of infringing on its intellectual property, and there are multiple lawsuits involved.

In this particular case, Apple was ordered to pay $302 million in October 2016, but with interest and other costs included, the judgement was increased to $440 million. Though Apple appealed the $440 million award many times, courts have continually ruled in VirnetX's favor.

Most recently, Apple attempted to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal, but the Supreme Court in February 2020 declined to intervene.

Apple claimed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of many of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation, leaving Apple responsible for the $440 million payment.

This is just one of two VirnetX cases that Apple has been fighting. In the second case, VirnetX was awarded $502 million, but the ruling was partially overturned last year and sent back to the lower courts to determine new damages. Apple in February attempted to get a rehearing to determine patent validity, but was denied.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
They are a joke of a company - Virnetz...more like a Virus than some other things out there.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
I can see someone filling that out: "... and eighty .. seven .. cents."

Wow, that's big check to write.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
Virnetx readying their next set of their master patent troll plan
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


Kinda wonder how much actual revenue the company has made compared to how much they've won in lawsuits.

VirnetX has very little revenue on a year-to-year basis. It's had less than $10 million total over the last 10 reported years. It loses $10-30 million every year.

It's managed to survive with money it received in 2014 and 2010 from settling with Microsoft ($223 million total) and with paid-in capital. It won't even get to keep all of this payment from Apple. It effectively bought the rights to the IP in question and has to pay part of what it generates from that IP to the previous owner.

The company's share price has basically reflected the market's assessment of what it will be able to get from Apple in these lawsuits. Those actions aside, the company really isn't worth much. So you consider the likelihood that VirnetX will ultimately get paid from those actions, and how much it's likely to get paid, and factor in expenses it will have... and you get an assessment of its value.

That's why its market cap is still only a little over $400 million, even though it got this payment and has won another judgment against Apple (though the damages in that case have to be reconsidered). It's also why its share price wasn't being hit like many other equities were in the broader market sell off.

...

Most recently, Apple attempted to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/02/24/u-s-supreme-court-appeal-440-million-virnetx-case/'), but the Supreme Court in February 2020 declined to intervene.

Apple claimed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of many of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation, leaving Apple responsible for the $440 million payment.

...

The court (i.e. the Federal Circuit) had not rescinded the cancelation of the patents (i.e. patent claims) at issue in the petition to the Supreme Court. The Federal Circuit had upheld the invalidation of those patents. (There were invalidations of 2 other patents which the Federal Circuit sent back to the PTAB to be reconsidered.) Those patents, which are part of what Apple was found to have infringed and ordered to pay damages base on (in the first case, for which it has now paid the judgment), are still invalid. But Apple has had to pay damages based on them regardless.

Part of what Apple wanted the Supreme Court to do was give effect to the invalidation of those patents, or instruct the Federal Circuit to consider whether it should give effect to those invalidations, in the infringement case we're talking about.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


Your time wasn't wasted. I learned a few things along the way.

Thanks for letting me know. I sort of gave up :-)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
It's odd that this hasn't affected AAPL stock price much. $454 million is a whole...

400th...

of its cash hoard. Nevermind. I started writing this post before I looked up the numbers and can't believe just how massive AAPL is.


Odd thing to call a company that just received a check for $454 Million.

How much debt do they already have? It may not be that much in the end. After all they've been fighting this lawsuit for a while.


Apple tends to fight-to-the-death on stuff like this when other companies just pay the licensing fee. I don't know if that attitude comes from the top or from the legal department. Apple's lawyers have got to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em so I suspect top management or Cook himself orders them to soldier on even if they know the game is over.

It's because a lot of times these patents are ********.

Some method of doing something gets patented, but not used for anything. Then a company like Apple comes up with the same tech independently and makes an actual product. Then they get sued for it.

I'm not saying that's the case here, just saying it's important to defend yourself against lawsuits from these companies that just stockpile patents and don't make anything with them. You never know what might be buried in some patent when coming up with a new (to you) way of doing something.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Anker Launches $100 24K Gold-Plated USB-C to Lightning Cable

Wednesday May 27, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Anker, a brand normally known for its well-made, affordable accessories for Apple devices, has debuted a new $100 24K gold-plated USB-C to Lightning cable. According to Anker, the cable, which is in the PowerLine+ III family, features a "Special Edition Gold Design" that's "bold yet elegant" with the aforementioned gold-plated cable heads and matching braided gold and black cable. The...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...