Apple ordered to pay $625M in revived VirnetX patent trial

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
A federal jury on Wednesday found Apple guilty of willfully infringing on four VirnetX patents, awarding the non-practicing entity $625.6 million in damages and ongoing royalties from a previous court finding.




After a week of testimony and deliberation, a jury in the patent owner-friendly East Texas Federal District Court handed down a unanimous decision against Apple's FaceTime, iMessage and VPN services, as well as the devices running them, finding each in infringement of VirnetX intellectual property covering secure communications protocols.

VirnetX initially won $368.2 million in damages from Apple in a 2012 lawsuit involving the same IP, but that verdict was ultimately vacated on appeal last September. As part of its appellate ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit called for a damages retrial, which resulted in today's decision.

In its retrial, VirnetX sought $532 million, though the sum was inflated to $625.6 million due to continued willful infringement on the patents-in-suit. The second court action also appended FaceTime infringement allegations on a new claim construction.

The first trial found Apple's VPN on Demand feature, used in iOS 3 through iOS 6, in infringement of VirnetX patent Nos. 6,502,135 and 7,490,151, leading to today's decision to dole out a $334.9 million damages award. The FaceTime version used in iOS 4 to iOS 6 and OS X 10.7 to OS X 10.8 infringed on patent Nos. 7,418,504 and 7,921,211. In addition, Apple willfully infringed on VirnetX IP with subsequent and current VPN on Demand, FaceTime and iMessage iterations, resulting in a $290.7 million hit.

"We are thankful for the jurors' hard work and attention in this case, and for reaching a just verdict," said VirnetX attorney Jason Cassady of Dallas law firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry. "The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX's patented technology for years."

Today's outcome is the latest in a string of wins for VirnetX, which has leveraged its patent portfolio against big-name tech companies to great success. Among the firm's targets was Microsoft, which settled out of court in 2010 for $200 million and again in 2014 for $23 million in a case involving Skype.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    Awesome. This will knock another couple of billion off the stock. /s
    cornchippscooter63
  • Reply 2 of 50
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    East Texas?  They hate Apple.  This is a travesty of justice.

    But Apple can appeal and drag this out so long that they will probably accept a much smaller amount.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Ouch. Not a great week for Apple. 
  • Reply 4 of 50
    Patent Trolls!  Disgusting people.  Put the dam things to use or get a life.
    larryalollivermejsricthebmtnolamacguy
  • Reply 5 of 50
    'Patents' and 'East Texas' just about says it all. Leeches.

    To call them a 'Federal jury' is to insult anything Federal (which is not easy) and juries. It reminds me of the annoying and repeated AI headlines about the 'Federal judge' (won't even bother to mention her name) in the iBooks antitrust case.
    lollivermejsricwonkothesanethebmtpalominenolamacguyjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 50
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,009member
    stevie said:
    East Texas?  They hate Apple.  This is a travesty of justice.

    But Apple can appeal and drag this out so long that they will probably accept a much smaller amount.
    Didn't they already appeal which is why it had to be re-tried? Not completely certain but if so they were better off the first time and maybe should have let it go. 

    EDIT: Yes Apple had already appealed, leading up to today's result. 
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 7 of 50
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    Disgusting.  Irrelevant to the story, but I'd be interested in hearing how this NPE came to hold these patents, how much they paid to acquire them and how much the original inventor of the technology actually earned from his invention.
    cornchipdorkus maximusmejsricjbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 50
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    I wonder how much juror's make in east Texas?
  • Reply 9 of 50
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Doubt they'll pay that much.
    Patent are sick, really really sick.
    The awards are completely ridiculous, even if they were based on something, which they arent't

    East Texas is basically massively corrupt.
    The system is perverted in this way to make money for the town.

    Considering that Samsung, who made tens of billions from their infringement, haven't even paid less than that, this tell you how absurd this is.
    lolliverthebmtnolamacguyjbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 50
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,104member
    I never understood how this shit is left to juries, who usually don't have a fucking clue about this stuff, nor context.
    lolliveranantksundaramfotoformatthebmtpalomine
  • Reply 11 of 50
    Patents and East Texas. Only the lawyers and East Texas win. Everyone else usually gets nothing but a stiff legal bill.
    lolliverthebmtjbdragon
  • Reply 12 of 50
    e39dinan said:
    Guys, to set the record straight here are a few facts.

    - VHC originally won $368 Million from Apple. Apple appealed on 3 levels (1. the patents are invalid. 2. we did not infringe 3. we don't think we owe that much). The court of appeals (CAFC) struck down Apple on #1 and #2 (the patents are valid, and Apple does infringe) and they kicked the monetary award (#3) back to court. Today's outcome was the result.

    - VHC is comprised of the inventors of the patents while they worked at SAIC. This isn't some NPE that just bought someone else's patents that were lying around. The guys suing AAPL have their names on the actual patents. 

    - Apple was found to wilfully infringe today. In other words, they knew they infringed and they kept doing it. 

    Please educate yourselves before painting VirnetX as your typical money grubbing NPE. 

    And remember: "Good artists copy, great artists steal" -Steve Jobs
    Found the Idiotnex employee. 

    Good job taking the quote out of context too! 
    anantksundaramjustadcomicsmejsricwonkothesanemagman1979
  • Reply 13 of 50
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Y'know, l've never been convinced that Apple's lawyers are that good. Their scoresheet is half a billion lost here, and a few million won somewhere else which they're not likely to see.

    Oh yes, they managed to get bans on a handful of phones that are no longer being bought by anyone. 


    jonl
  • Reply 14 of 50
    Time to pay up. Keep using it, don't pay and pay double when the next go around comes up.  Smart thinking.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    It's a shame the current head of the patent and trademarks office is an ex-Googler. Maybe Eddie Cue needs to apply for the position next time.
    mejsricpalomine
  • Reply 16 of 50
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    I imagine the CEO must be notified of a 600+ check beig written.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    e39dinan said:
    Found the Idiotnex employee. 

    Good job taking the quote out of context too! 
    Really?

    http://i.imgur.com/lBNaIxg.png 
    Yes, really.

    http://obamapacman.com/2010/03/myth-copyright-theft-apple-stole-gui-from-xerox-parc-alto/
    http://zurb.com/article/801/steve-jobs-and-xerox-the-truth-about-inno

    No matter what he was bragging about in the car, the Xerox stuff wasn't stolen; it was paid for with one million dollars of pre-IPO Apple stock. I wonder how much that stock would be worth today? 
    edited February 2016 anantksundaramjustadcomicsnolamacguyspheric
  • Reply 18 of 50
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,404member
    Yes according to the law.. VirnetX has a patent(s), and it was willfully (according to the courts) infringed on by Apple.

    But the real story here is how horribly broken software patents are in general. Software patents put a large dampener on technological progression / innovation. The system needs a rework, and a rework quite soon.

    These patents are 12-14 years old..

    https://www.google.com/patents/US7921211
    https://www.google.com/patents/US7490151
    https://www.google.com/patents/US7418504
    https://www.google.com/patents/US6502135


    edited February 2016 justadcomics
  • Reply 19 of 50
    tenly said:
    Disgusting.  Irrelevant to the story, but I'd be interested in hearing how this NPE came to hold these patents, how much they paid to acquire them and how much the original inventor of the technology actually earned from his invention.
    It is pretty odd that these no-name patent holding companies can spring up and then win verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Where are the big tech companies when these patents are for sale. Instead, they buy up huge patent portfolios that turn out to be pretty much worthless in court. Just ask Google.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,009member
    tenly said:
    Disgusting.  Irrelevant to the story, but I'd be interested in hearing how this NPE came to hold these patents, how much they paid to acquire them and how much the original inventor of the technology actually earned from his invention.
    It is pretty odd that these no-name patent holding companies can spring up and then win verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Where are the big tech companies when these patents are for sale. Instead, they buy up huge patent portfolios that turn out to be pretty much worthless in court. Just ask Google.
    How would Google know if their patents are worthless in court?  They've not ever sued anyone over them. ;)
    singularity
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