Apple isn't getting $454M back from VirnetX because it waited too long to ask

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
Apple won't be able to get back any of the $454 million it paid to VirnetX for infringing patents even after those patents were invalidated, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


In March, VirnetX confirmed that Apple sent a $454 million payment for infringing several of its patents through the FaceTime and VPN on Demand features. The payment capped a legal saga a decade in the making.

Apple was hoping to get some of that payment back, but U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III ruled on Tuesday that Apple unreasonably delayed its request to do so, according to a decision spotted by Law360.

The Federal Circuit in August 2019 reviewed several inter partes decisions, which ultimately left one and a half VirnetX patents invalidated. Apple then asked the Federal Circuit to allow those patent invalidations to be used in its district court proceedings. The Federal Circuit denied that request.

Apple then took the issue to the Supreme Court, filing a petition to challenge the Federal Circuit's decision and claiming that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decision should affect the district court ruling.

Just before the Supreme Court dismissed Apple's petition, the company filed the Rule 60(b) motion for relief from the judgement.

In his decision Tuesday, Judge Schroeder said that Apple waited too long to file a "strikingly" similar motion, adding that because "Apple drafted a substantively identical motion in six days, it did not need five months to reframe that motion as a request for relief under Rule 60(b)."

The judge was also unswayed by Apple's argument that it wanted to give the Supreme Court time to render a decision. He said that VirnetX could not have been prejudiced in this case, since it had already been paid.

"VirnetX's lack of prejudice cuts against a finding of untimeliness, but it does not outweigh Apple's failure to provide a colorable excuse for its delay," Judge Schroeder wrote in his order.

Although the saga concerning the $454 million is over, Apple and VirnetX are still in an ongoing battle over a second patent infringement case that was partially overturned in November and sent back to lower courts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    So...

    in other words, a judge made Apple Pay HALF A BILLION dollars to an extortionist. 

    And now a judge won’t make the thieves repay

    - simply because apples wording wasn’t good enough for him in the time they had to write and file? 

    The heck? 

    That’s agenda right there. 

    Or at the least it’s thinking like “well Apple ID so rich they don’t need it.” Which is anything but justice. 

    Terrible judge. 

    I believe this will be overturned. It’s wrong. 

    And beyond that, the judge is actually trying to sto Apple from using the fact they were in the right in future court cases. 

    What kind of justice is that? 
    elijahgkillroyflyingdpmuthuk_vanalingamaderutterBeatswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 24
    If this stands, it means that in future, anyone found to infringe will refuse to pay up until all possible avenues for appeal are exhausted.
    So any legitimate patent holders will have to wait essentially forever for any royalties/damages.
    killroyPetrolDavewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    If this stands, some attorney's slow paperwork cost Apple nearly half a billion dollars.  I hope his or her resume is up to date.
    killroyronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    This has to be unlawful. Unbelievable.
    SpamSandwichmac_dogBeatsolswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Apple is notorious for having the worst legal representation in the world. They lose almost every case including blatant bs ones. It seems they lose well over a billion ever year!
    flyingdpBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,444member
    5 months does seem like rather a long time to file paperwork if it wasn't substantially altered.
    ronnbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Apple is notorious for having the worst legal representation in the world. They lose almost every case including blatant bs ones. It seems they lose well over a billion ever year!
    Citation needed. Remember, they won the biggest, the Samsung case. 
    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    crowley said:
    5 months does seem like rather a long time to file paperwork if it wasn't substantially altered.
    Exactly - it “seems”. 
    As I understand there is no written rule / law how long it could take. 
    So Apple actually wasn’t late. 
    So it is BS. 
    olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,128member
    I’m not seeing this reasoning either. If a patent has been invalidated, and there’s no statute of limitations on reversing relevant prior action...?
    muthuk_vanalingamolswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    Apple is notorious for having the worst legal representation in the world. They lose almost every case including blatant bs ones. It seems they lose well over a billion ever year!
    Citation needed. Remember, they won the biggest, the Samsung case. 
    Not really, a measly $1B from an original $11B+. Samsung’s legal team was relentless they introduced an innovative argument and convinced the court to not sue for the entire devices they copied but for the individual components in the device that infringed on patents. Also lost the seemingly straight forward Apple vs Amazon case
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    So...

    in other words, a judge made Apple Pay HALF A BILLION dollars to an extortionist. 

    And now a judge won’t make the thieves repay

    - simply because apples wording wasn’t good enough for him in the time they had to write and file? 

    The heck? 

    That’s agenda right there. 

    Or at the least it’s thinking like “well Apple ID so rich they don’t need it.” Which is anything but justice. 

    Terrible judge. 

    I believe this will be overturned. It’s wrong. 

    And beyond that, the judge is actually trying to sto Apple from using the fact they were in the right in future court cases. 

    What kind of justice is that? 
    This decision won't be (ultimately) overturned. This matter was, for all intents and purposes, decided when the Supreme Court refused to grant cert.

    Appeal filed the Rule 60(b) motion in the district court just prior to the Supreme Court's denial of cert, I would think, just to keep a door open in case it came up with something new to argue. That motion was almost certain to never be successful. So it effectively sat there until Apple found something new that it thought it could argue, but that something new wasn't really something new and had almost no chance of succeeding - and Apple surely knew that. This was a 1 in a 1000, what do we have to lose, attempt by Apple.
    CloudTalkinronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24

    If this stands, some attorney's slow paperwork cost Apple nearly half a billion dollars.  I hope his or her resume is up to date.
    This wasn't an issue with slow paperwork. Apple was seeking to supplement its arguments for a (desperation) motion it had filed in February. What it sought to supplement its arguments with didn't happen until July. Apple couldn't have argued based on that supposedly new thing (decisions from the PTAB) until that supposedly new thing happened. In reality, it wasn't really a new thing - it didn't change what had already been decided by the Federal Circuit, and what the Supreme Court had already decided not to grant cert on.
    edited September 2020 ronnrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Half a BILLION. 

    THATS A TON OF NONEY. 

    There better be some written law that judge can point to. 

    Otherwise 5 months is too long to get your own money back? 

    What on earth?

    so the frauds get to keep money that doesn’t belong to them???

    and Apple gets to be stolen from? 

    And the judge ensures it is so?

    this is twilight zone stuff. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24

    dysamoria said:
    I’m not seeing this reasoning either. If a patent has been invalidated, and there’s no statute of limitations on reversing relevant prior action...?
    I think the Federal Circuit was wrong in not giving effect to the PTAB invalidations (i.e. those which it had upheld) in the still ongoing infringement action. And I wish the Supreme Court had granted cert and provided some clarity on when such effect should be given - i.e., at what stage is an infringement action really over and thus future PTAB (upheld) invalidations don't matter.

    That said, the Federal Circuit ruled as it did and the Supreme Court refused to hear the issue. So the matter was settled. Apple had essentially no chance to get the district court to rule in its favor on the Rule 60(b) motion. I don't think this decision by the district court that Apple's supplemental arguments are untimely really matters. Apple was almost certainly going to lose the motion anyway. There's nothing new here from a legal perspective.
    muthuk_vanalingamronnrandominternetperson
  • Reply 15 of 24

    Apple is notorious for having the worst legal representation in the world. They lose almost every case including blatant bs ones. It seems they lose well over a billion ever year!
    Apple has been pretty successful in legal processes, particularly when it comes to IP issues. It loses some, but also wins some - quite a few. A lot of what happens in various legal processes isn't much paid attention to. 
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,911member
    So...

    in other words, a judge made Apple Pay HALF A BILLION dollars to an extortionist. 

    And now a judge won’t make the thieves repay

    - simply because apples wording wasn’t good enough for him in the time they had to write and file? 

    The heck? 

    That’s agenda right there. 

    Or at the least it’s thinking like “well Apple ID so rich they don’t need it.” Which is anything but justice. 

    Terrible judge. 

    I believe this will be overturned. It’s wrong. 

    And beyond that, the judge is actually trying to sto Apple from using the fact they were in the right in future court cases. 

    What kind of justice is that? 
    It’s correct. There are time limits on legal matters. You must meet them, like it or not. How long after a deadline should one be allowed to stray? Zero time, unless before the deadline is up, you request more time, and give good reasons for it. Then, maybe, you will be granted a stay, or permission to extend your brief for a while.

    but if this wasn’t the way things are done, then there would be anarchy in the courts. Apple could have prepared this new request and handed it in earlier. They didnt have to wait. The judge could have decided whether they should have.
    muthuk_vanalingamronn
  • Reply 17 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,911member

    If this stands, it means that in future, anyone found to infringe will refuse to pay up until all possible avenues for appeal are exhausted.
    So any legitimate patent holders will have to wait essentially forever for any royalties/damages.
    And very often, that’s exactly what happens.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 24
    It seems to me like Apple needs to change the lawyers
    SpamSandwichronnBeats
  • Reply 19 of 24
    qwerty52 said:
    It seems to me like Apple needs to change the lawyers
    No matter how much you pay them, they don’t seem to get any better.
    watto_cobraqwerty52
  • Reply 20 of 24
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,983member
    melgross said:
    It’s correct. There are time limits on legal matters. You must meet them, like it or not. How long after a deadline should one be allowed to stray?
    Please cite the deadline they missed. 'Limits' are usually defined so you know where you stand in relation to that limit.

    For example in my state, you have six months to claim your Lotto winnings. A man missed it by one say and was denied several hundred thousand dollars. He took it up with the Lottery Commission who stood firm. No prize money for you! Some say it was the State being stingy, not wanting to pay. Sure to some or a large degree. But the commission said, if it's one day for this guy, it's two weeks for the next. Six months should be plenty. 

    From AI's article the judge said "you did the second request in 6 days, it shouldn't have taken 5 months for the first. Shame on you. (Ok, the last bit was me editorializing.)

    Seems the judge said arbitrarily "the time limit is what I say it is" and maybe was more interested in teaching Apple a lesson instead of practicing objective juris prudence.

    I would have like SCOTUS to hear the appeal so as to rule on what I understand, at this point, to be the arbitrariness of the judge's response.

    Apple deserves to be held accountable for the mistakes it makes, but also not be held accountable for the ones it doesn't.
    spock1234
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