Apple vs. VirnetX legal battle still raging over $439.8 million FaceTime ruling

Posted:
in iPhone
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued two decisions against Apple and in favor of VirnetX, leaving Apple on the hook for $439.8 million in damages.

Apple's FaceTime technology on an iPhone and iPad
Apple's FaceTime technology on an iPhone and iPad


In the first ruling, the Federal Circuit has denied Apple's petition for a reconsideration on the matter that has been wearing on since the original filing in 2010. A separate ruling has declared that two of three patent reexamination proceedings for patents involved in the matter could not continue, as there have already been "final decisions" on validity entered by a federal court.

"We are extremely pleased with the Federal Court's decisions, which vindicate many of VirnetX's positions before both the Patent Board and the district court," VirnetX CEO and President Kendall Larsen said in a statement about the rulings. "These decisions follow the Federal Circuit's recent decisions in two other appeals that similarly vacated a number of the Patent Board's invalidity rulings with respect to VirnetX's patents on the basis of our arguments. Furthermore, we believe that Apple clearly and willfully infringed the claims upheld by the Federal Court."

Apple has yet to comment on the rulings.

An April 2018 ruling finally made after about eight years of legal maneuvers found Apple had infringed on four VirnetX patents relating to secure communications, including its VPN-on-Demand technology as well as elements of FaceTime and iMessage. For that suit, the jury awarded VirnetX $502.6 million, bringing the total won from Apple to almost $1 billion when including a similar earlier case.

The following August, Apple was denied a motion for a new trial, forcing it to appeal the verdict. The U.S. Court of Appeals denied Apple on January 15.

Apple has had some success in avoiding payment to VirnetX for patent infringement. The first lawsuit in 2010 claimed multiple instances of infringement, but while a Texas court ordered Apple to pay $368 million for infringing one patent, the judgement was vacated almost two years later.

That case was then added to another patent suit in a 2016 retrial, which declared Apple had to pay $625 million to VirnetX. This was tossed over claims the trial was unfair, due to jury confusion. After two retrials, VirnetX was awarded $302.4 million, then enhanced to $439 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
     Manufacturing a product is not a prerequisite of a patent validity... particularly for software patents.  But to answer your question directly, yes VirnetX patents are licensed in software from the likes of Microsoft, Siemens, NEC Corp, and Avaya.  They also have a software suite on the market that utilizes the patents.  To be fair, that software suite could be junk specifically put on the market to bolster their position.   You can judge for yourself.  https://www.virnetx.com/

    Apple has lost this battle in almost every conceivable way.  At some point you'd think they would abandon the Samsung strategy of appeal, appeal, and if you still don't win... appeal again.  

    I've always felt that if Apple finally came to an agreement with VirnetX, they could expand the reach of FaceTime and iMessage.
    edited August 2 FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 7
    vr0513vr0513 Posts: 3member
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
     Manufacturing a product is not a prerequisite of a patent validity... particularly for software patents.  But to answer your question directly, yes VirnetX patents are licensed in software from the likes of Microsoft, Siemens, NEC Corp, and Avaya.  They also have a software suite on the market that utilizes the patents.  To be fair, that software suite could be junk specifically put on the market to bolster their position.   You can judge for yourself.  https://www.virnetx.com/

    Apple has lost this battle in almost every conceivable way.  At some point you'd think they would abandon the Samsung strategy of appeal, appeal, and if you still don't win... appeal again.  

    I've always felt that if Apple finally came to an agreement with VirnetX, they could expand the reach of FaceTime and iMessage.
    As much as I support VirnetX in this legal battle- to say that Apple has lost in every conceivable way is a bit of a misnomer. Nearly every time Apple has appealed or filed a motion, they've gotten SOMETHING out of it, not always necessarily a win, but they've won things like additional trials, separating trials, reduced damages (by way of reducing willfulness charges), among other things. Apple's tactics since the beginning has been all about stalling. They stall in the hopes that VirnetX will give up. They stall in the hopes that VirnetX's counsel will give up. They stall in the hopes that shareholders will give up too. Apple has accrued more than enough expenses at this point to buy out VirnetX or pay the verdict in full. They've got enough money that this seems to be an exercise of "Yeah we have to pay up, but let's see how long we can avoid that"
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Apple has lost this battle in almost every conceivable way.  At some point you'd think they would abandon the Samsung strategy of appeal, appeal, and if you still don't win... appeal again.  

    I've always felt that if Apple finally came to an agreement with VirnetX, they could expand the reach of FaceTime and iMessage.
    Apple's position is even more stupid than your comment suggests. Not only as implied by your comment have they been wasting a (large) fortune on lawyers and repeatedly loosing but literally there have been times when the VirtneX share price was sufficiently depressed that Apple could have bought their entire company for less than the amount they have been ordered to pay. This has also been going on so long that even though Apple are now [sarcasm mode on] a poor impoverished debt ridden firm these days [sarcasm mode off], back then they had literally mountains of cash they could not think of other things to spend on except it seems lawyers fees.

    See - https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/alphabet-google-parent-now-has-more-cash-than-apple-2019-7-1028404234

    Apple would then have been receiving the license fees being paid by Microsoft et al to VirtnetX.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 7
    P-DogNCP-DogNC Posts: 37member
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
     Manufacturing a product is not a prerequisite of a patent validity... particularly for software patents.
    That is exactly what is wrong with current patent law - unless one is required to actually produce or sell something which actively utilizes the specific patent, the law encourages trolls.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    vr0513 said:
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
     Manufacturing a product is not a prerequisite of a patent validity... particularly for software patents.  But to answer your question directly, yes VirnetX patents are licensed in software from the likes of Microsoft, Siemens, NEC Corp, and Avaya.  They also have a software suite on the market that utilizes the patents.  To be fair, that software suite could be junk specifically put on the market to bolster their position.   You can judge for yourself.  https://www.virnetx.com/

    Apple has lost this battle in almost every conceivable way.  At some point you'd think they would abandon the Samsung strategy of appeal, appeal, and if you still don't win... appeal again.  

    I've always felt that if Apple finally came to an agreement with VirnetX, they could expand the reach of FaceTime and iMessage.
    As much as I support VirnetX in this legal battle- to say that Apple has lost in every conceivable way is a bit of a misnomer. Nearly every time Apple has appealed or filed a motion, they've gotten SOMETHING out of it, not always necessarily a win, but they've won things like additional trials, separating trials, reduced damages (by way of reducing willfulness charges), among other things. Apple's tactics since the beginning has been all about stalling. They stall in the hopes that VirnetX will give up. They stall in the hopes that VirnetX's counsel will give up. They stall in the hopes that shareholders will give up too. Apple has accrued more than enough expenses at this point to buy out VirnetX or pay the verdict in full. They've got enough money that this seems to be an exercise of "Yeah we have to pay up, but let's see how long we can avoid that"
    But I didn't say Apple has lost in every conceivable way. I stated -just more succinctly- exactly what you've restated with more detail.  Here's what I said: "Apple has lost this battle in almost every conceivable way.  Even the small victories for Apple have been basically pyrrhic since we seem to end up back at verdict for VirnetX.
    I can't fathom Apple's reasoning for continuing this battle.  Apple is like Sisyphus and VirnetX is like that big ass rock. :D  They should really stop rolling it.


  • Reply 7 of 7
    P-DogNC said:
     Does VirnetX actually manufacture anything?
    As in, are any products manufactured, featuring the  VirnetX technology?
     Manufacturing a product is not a prerequisite of a patent validity... particularly for software patents.
    That is exactly what is wrong with current patent law - unless one is required to actually produce or sell something which actively utilizes the specific patent, the law encourages trolls.
    I disagree somewhat. The current system allows pure research labs, or small inventors who could never bring a product to market themselves, to gain funding by simply licensing the patents. It means that such inventors can focus on their core competencies and outsource the monetisation if desired. The current system needs work, but it's not 100% bad.
    1STnTENDERBITS
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