US Supreme court declines to hear $503M Apple-VirnetX patent case

Posted:
in iOS edited February 25

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided it doesn't want to look into the patent battle between VirnetX and Apple, effectively ending VirnetX's chances of reviving a $503 million verdict.

FaceTime was at the heart of the VirnetX lawsuit against Apple
FaceTime was at the heart of the VirnetX lawsuit against Apple



In Apple's 14-year legal battle against VirnetX over alleged patent infringement by FaceTime, the iPhone maker was ruled to pay out $502.8 million in 2020, a verdict it managed to defeat in 2023. Almost one year later, VirnetX's last chance to keep its payout alive has bit the dust.

The decision on Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court was a refusal to hear the bid by VirnetX to revive the overturned jury verdict, reports CNBC. By declining the request, the 2023 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit still stands, meaning Apple doesn't have to pay out the $503 million.

It all but brings to an end the legal battle that started back in 2010, when VirnetX sued Apple over allegations of patent infringement related to FaceTime, VPN, and iMessage services.

By 2020, a federal jury ruled in favor of VirnetX's case, calculating the massive payout from Apple, shy of the $700 million it wanted, but more than Apple's preferred $113m payment.

In 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals decided in favor of Apple, overturning the $503M ruling completely, and forcing VirnetX further up the judicial chain.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Does that mean Apple could finally bring FaceTime to other platforms as Steve promised? 🤣
    https://9to5mac.com/2018/06/06/make-facetime-an-open-standard/
    ronncorp1watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    So, it's a common misunderstanding that when an appeal is made in the US courts it is the decision that is being appealed, but that is not the case. An appeal can only be made on the basis of an error in law. That is, the court of original jurisdiction made an error in how the law was applied (whether procedural or substantive) that materially affected the outcome of the case.

    Consequently, VirnetX failed to gain Certiorari in its appeal to the US Supreme Court (USSC) of the Federal Circuit's decision because the USSC did not see either an error in law by the Circuit (i.e., it ruled for Apple appropriately), or any compelling points at law (VirnetX failed to prove there was any new law or legal theory) that required a decision/clarification for the guidance of US jurisprudence. 

    In Apple's case with VirnetX, the Circuit Court adjudged that VirnetX's patents were rightfully declared invalid by the USPTO Tribunal in a different hearing from the one it originally conducted in the case between Apple and VirnetX. Consequently, as a matter of law, Apple could not be made to pay for infringing on patents that were invalid, and plaintiff had no case.

    Patent trolls lose again.
    retrogustoronnzeus423davenwilliamlondonchasmdanoxappleinsideruser40domibeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 3 of 7
    davendaven Posts: 698member
    So, it's a common misunderstanding that when an appeal is made in the US courts it is the decision that is being appealed, but that is not the case. An appeal can only be made on the basis of an error in law. That is, the court of original jurisdiction made an error in how the law was applied (whether procedural or substantive) that materially affected the outcome of the case.

    Consequently, VirnetX failed to gain Certiorari in its appeal to the US Supreme Court (USSC) of the Federal Circuit's decision because the USSC did not see either an error in law by the Circuit (i.e., it ruled for Apple appropriately), or any compelling points at law (VirnetX failed to prove there was any new law or legal theory) that required a decision/clarification for the guidance of US jurisprudence. 

    In Apple's case with VirnetX, the Circuit Court adjudged that VirnetX's patents were rightfully declared invalid by the USPTO Tribunal in a different hearing from the one it originally conducted in the case between Apple and VirnetX. Consequently, as a matter of law, Apple could not be made to pay for infringing on patents that were invalid, and plaintiff had no case.

    Patent trolls lose again.
    Well said!
    chasm
  • Reply 4 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    Thank you, Mortarman81mm, for that very cogent explanation of why the SC declined to hear the case.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Does that mean Apple could finally bring FaceTime to other platforms as Steve promised? 
    On one hand I like the idea of Apple keeping its (and Steve's in this case) promises.

    On the other hand I have run into (so to speak) more and more people holding their phones in front of them and taking facetime calls as they walk around almost completely unaware of their surroundings. Perhaps people could still do that with Zoom or Skype, but Facetime seems to make it a bit too convenient.




    edited February 21 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    corp1 said:
    Does that mean Apple could finally bring FaceTime to other platforms as Steve promised? 
    On one hand I like the idea of Apple keeping its (and Steve's in this case) promises.

    On the other hand I have run into (so to speak) more and more people holding their phones in front of them and taking facetime calls as they walk around almost completely unaware of their surroundings. Perhaps people could still do that with Zoom or Skype, but Facetime seems to make it a bit too convenient.
    Haha yes, but it might help tackle the proliferation of WhatsApp calling (outside the US).

    Might it also mean that FaceTime can go back to peer-to-peer communication, rather than requiring a central server intermediary. Lower costs for Apple, and maybe faster call setup for us? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Does that mean Apple could finally bring FaceTime to other platforms as Steve promised? 🤣
    https://9to5mac.com/2018/06/06/make-facetime-an-open-standard/
    I already make FaceTime calls with people who are on Android and Windows, but as far as I know they cannot initiate a FaceTime call with me. So, maybe we’re halfway there?
    appleinsideruserwatto_cobra
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