Apple ordered to pay VirnetX $502.6M in patent infringement row

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 10
A federal jury on Tuesday found Apple's FaceTime, VPN and iMessage products in infringement of four VirnetX patents covering secure communications, awarding the patent holdings firm $502.6 million in damages.




Handed down by a jury in Texas, the ruling is the latest development in a legal saga spanning eight years and, with today's $502.6 million judgment, nearly $1 billion in damages awards.

In a statement following the decision, VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen called the amount "fair," reports Bloomberg. The infringement award was based on sales of more than 400 million devices including the popular, premium priced iPhone.

"The evidence was clear," Larsen said. "Tell the truth and you don't have to worry about anything."

According to the original complaint, lodged in 2012, VirnetX alleges various Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac, infringe on owned intellectual property related to secure data communications.

Specifically, the suit targeted Apple's VPN on Demand technology and consumer facing FaceTime and iMessage products that ship as bundled software. VirnetX initially sought damages on cumulative product sales involving iPhone 5, the fourth-generation iPad, Macs running OS X Mountain Lion and other supporting devices.

Whether today's verdict will stand remains to be seen. In 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated four VirnetX patents-in-suit in a related case, two of which were leveraged in the case decided today.

VirnetX is currently in the process of appealing the PTAB ruling with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, meaning the patents remain valid in the eyes of the court. The Federal Circuit declined to put the latest trial on hold as it expected a verdict to be reached prior to a potential patent validity ruling.

VirnetX first filed suit against Apple in 2010, following up the attack with subsequent complaints against specific devices like iPhone 4S.

The non-practicing entity's legal pursuit has been a rollercoaster ride of wins and losses on appeal. In 2012, the same Texas court ordered Apple to pay $368 million for infringing on a single patent, a judgment vacated by the CAFC nearly two years later. That case was rolled in with the original suit as part of a damages retrial in 2016 that slapped Apple with a $625 million penalty.

The massive award was again tossed, this time by Judge Robert Schroeder, who said jury confusion led to an unfair trial. The jurist ordered two retrials which ended in a $302.4 million victory for VirnetX that was enhanced to $439.7 million after Apple was found to have willfully infringed on the patents. Apple is appealing that decision.

Apple lawyers did not comment on today's decision, though the company will likely appeal.


Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,428moderator
    Hopefully the appeal of the invalidation of the patents will wrap up before Apple’s appeal in this case winds it’s way fully to a close.  Because I believe that if money is handed over, it cannot be clawed back even if later the parents are determined to be invalid.  I doubt Apple would even be able to sue to get any money back.  Who would you sue?  The courts?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    wood1208 said:
    Sorry to mention but observed often Appleinsider posts the same news/article after already posted on 9to5Mac site.
    Because being first isn't always being accurate. Sometimes AI is first, sometimes they're last, but they're almost always accurate. There's no prize in being first in the news, especially when it comes to not getting the entire story, or not getting it 100% straight. 
    radarthekatrepressthismuthuk_vanalingampropodwlymwatto_cobragilly017jony0
  • Reply 3 of 14
    It reminds me of Uniloc and their patent which essentially covered online activated product keys. Over time the patent was invalidated - the error made by Microsoft and many others was to settle out of court. Apple's appeals here are the right way to go, the patents will likely be invalidated before the case is fully resolved through the courts. So while a lower court may opt to continue the case even though the patent has been invalidated and in appeal, a higher court will await the result of that appeal.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    chasmchasm Posts: 635member
    wood1208 said:
    Sorry to mention but observed often Appleinsider posts the same news/article after already posted on 9to5Mac site.

    Well, no.

    You’re correct that 9to5 published a story on this same event a half-hour or so earlier than AI did. But the AI version:
    a) is not a copy of the 9to5 report, it just covers the same basic set of facts;
    b) goes into considerably more background on the case than the 9to5 report did;
    c) Includes the actual judgement ruling, which 9to5 did not include;
    d) is not a story in which urgency in reporting is paramount.

    Maybe none of that is important to you, but it’s unfair to call it “the same article.” Sometimes AI gets there first, sometimes MacRumors does, sometimes 9to5 does. I’ll take a better-written article with more information in it over a quickly-written one every time, and in this particular case my personal judgement is that AI did a better job with the same story. YMMV.
    edited April 10 radarthekatneo-techmuthuk_vanalingammacseekerPickUrPoisonjbdragonwlymlostkiwiwatto_cobragilly017
  • Reply 5 of 14
    How many time has Apple been sued over this patent? I realize that apparently Apple has been appealing and haven’t paid a dime (good for you Apple), but this back and forth is causing tax payers pretty penny! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,278member
    I’m not expecting Apple to beat Qualcomm.   
    Cook would be better off hiring Joe Pesci from “My Cousin Vinnie”

    Apple should put a lot more Money into reasearch and more into buying Pattents.

    Why don’t they ever sue Google?
  • Reply 7 of 14
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    How many time has Apple been sued over this patent? I realize that apparently Apple has been appealing and haven’t paid a dime (good for you Apple), but this back and forth is causing tax payers pretty penny! 
    How is this costing taxpayers money?  This is a lawsuit between two companies.  The judges get paid no matter what regardless of what case they're trying, the support staff also get paid regardless.  Are you just referring to the jury that has to make do on $5 a day for being a juror?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,837member
    If you want to win against Apple in Patent lawsuit, file it with Texas Fed court. They will let you win. These judges in Texas court are just fcking clueless!
    mwhitejbdragonlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    fallenjt said:
    If you want to win against Apple in Patent lawsuit, file it with Texas Fed court. They will let you win. These judges in Texas court are just fcking clueless!
    There are 2 cases here.
    1. Did Apple violate VirnetX patents?
    2. Are VirnetX patents valid?

    If the case that was won was only about #1... It is what it is, the judge probably ruled correctly.

    Once #2 results in the patents being invalidated, then you swing back around to get the first one thrown out.

    Yes.  Our patent system is a mess, and it stifles innovation, but it’s not the judges place to fix it.

    I share your irritation, and despise patent trolls, but you’re upset with the wrong folks.  The “system” is overwhelmed and allows for the stupidest things to be patented.  Yes.  Apple is also guilty.  Most companies are forced to swamp the system with patent requests to protect themselves.  It works OK (through cross-licensing) for everyone except patent trolls who pop up like cockroaches every time a company goes out of business.

    I fear the day IBM goes out of business.

    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Until software patents’ illegality is reaffirmed, every business is at risk for having its work stolen. But does Trump do jack shit about patent reform? Nope. This POS is restarting the Cold War and coal mining. Brilliant.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    seankillseankill Posts: 369member
    sflocal said:
    How many time has Apple been sued over this patent? I realize that apparently Apple has been appealing and haven’t paid a dime (good for you Apple), but this back and forth is causing tax payers pretty penny! 
    How is this costing taxpayers money?  This is a lawsuit between two companies.  The judges get paid no matter what regardless of what case they're trying, the support staff also get paid regardless.  Are you just referring to the jury that has to make do on $5 a day for being a juror?
    Uh... How about the more BS cases you have, the more you need to staff up to handle the garbage cases? If people aren’t busy, you lay them off. Believe those that understand economics, this is costing money. 

    Not saying this this is a BS case, not going to read into it enough to figure it out. 
  • Reply 12 of 14
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,747member
    Until software patents’ illegality is reaffirmed, every business is at risk for having its work stolen. But does Trump do jack shit about patent reform? Nope. This POS is restarting the Cold War and coal mining. Brilliant.


    Did OBAMA do jack shit about patent Reform? Nope!!! I thought Trump was in Russia's pocket? Now he's starting the cold war against them? How can you have it both ways? By the way, we have Clean Coal. You use power? You must, being on a computer making a dumb post. If we can't build nuclear plants, we need to make power some other way. So Called Clean energy is not practical, besides not working when the sun is down or to cloudy or the wind stops blowing. Maybe YOU want power 10 hours a day and the rest of the time it's out?

    You poor Snowflake.
    edited April 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Jay7Jay7 Posts: 4member
    Fallenjt:
    I'd don't think the problem is that judges in the Eastern District of Texas are clueless. One could argue it's much worse than being clueless. Just watch the video below. The whole thing is worth watching, but particularly starting at about 4:30, you'll see what's going on there and what is a big part of the reason why so many "patent trolls" file suit there. 

    icoco3
  • Reply 14 of 14
    wlymwlym Posts: 50member
    jbdragon said:
    Until software patents’ illegality is reaffirmed, every business is at risk for having its work stolen. But does Trump do jack shit about patent reform? Nope. This POS is restarting the Cold War and coal mining. Brilliant.


    Did OBAMA do jack shit about patent Reform? Nope!!! I thought Trump was in Russia's pocket? Now he's starting the cold war against them? How can you have it both ways? By the way, we have Clean Coal. You use power? You must, being on a computer making a dumb post. If we can't build nuclear plants, we need to make power some other way. So Called Clean energy is not practical, besides not working when the sun is down or to cloudy or the wind stops blowing. Maybe YOU want power 10 hours a day and the rest of the time it's out?


    You poor Snowflake.

    Somebody give this fine gent a MAGA hat full of clean coal! 
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