Apple loses appeal of $439 million verdict in favor of VirnetX

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 19
On Tuesday the federal U.S. Court of Appeals denied Apple's appeal of a 2016 jury verdict in favor of VirnetX, which initially granted the patent licensing firm $302.4 million in damages.

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The decision comes despite VirnetX's patent claims being ruled invalid by an administrative court, Reuters noted. The latter outcome is itself being appealed.

In April 2018 Apple was found to have infringed on four VirnetX patents for secure communications, including its VPN-on-Demand technology and consumer FaceTime and iMessage software and services. The jury awarded VirnetX $502.6 million, adding to an earlier win in a similar case that brought the amount owed by Apple to nearly $1 billion.

In August, Apple was denied a motion for a new trial in a long-running patent fight, leaving Apple the option to appeal the verdict.

The contents of a final judgement were unsealed in September, revealing that VirnetX was granted only half the "sunset royalty" it demanded, and was refused an embargo on sales and imports at the same time. Both sides were denied motions, but ultimately Apple escaped far harsher financial penalties.

The legal affair was first started in 2010 by VirnetX claiming multiple instances of patent infringement in Apple's products. In 2012, a Texas court ordered Apple to pay $368 million for infringing one patent, but that judgement was vacated almost two years later.

That case was then rolled in with another patent suit in a 2016 damages retrial, which landed Apple a $625 million penalty, later tossed over claims the trial was unfair due to jury confusion. Two retrials later VirnetX was awarded $302.4 million, enhanced to $439 million after Apple was found by the court to have willfully infringed the patents.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 
  • Reply 2 of 13
    ksecksec Posts: 1,562member
    commentsf said:
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 
    You will need to look up VirnetX.
    Rayz2016patchythepiratejbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    commentsf said:
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 

    Disagree. No one should pay up for frivolous patents. That's the whole problem.
    StrangeDaysjbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,731member
    Half a $B?? Really? 
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Rayz2016 said:
    commentsf said:
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 

    Disagree. No one should pay up for frivolous patents. That's the whole problem.
    Rules are rules, don't do the crime if you can't pay the fine!
  • Reply 6 of 13
    How can Apple be forced to pay for an invalid patent? :/
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,731member
    How can Apple be forced to pay for an invalid patent? :/
    Samsung had to pay Apple for a patent that was eventually declared invalid IIRC. The law is not what you might expect. If a company is found guilty of infringement and later on, a month, a year, 10 years later, that patent is ruled invalid the "infringing" company doesn't get their money back. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 13
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 278member
    gatorguy said:
    How can Apple be forced to pay for an invalid patent? :/
    Samsung had to pay Apple for a patent that was eventually declared invalid IIRC. The law is not what you might expect. If a company is found guilty of infringement and later on, a month, a year, 10 years later, that patent is ruled invalid the "infringing" company doesn't get their money back. 
    Not automatically, but I imagine they could sue for it back, no?  That would certainly jibe with other lawyer-friendly aspect of the American justice system.  Keeping lawyers in business is what it's ultimately all about.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,731member
    tjwolf said:
    gatorguy said:
    How can Apple be forced to pay for an invalid patent? :/
    Samsung had to pay Apple for a patent that was eventually declared invalid IIRC. The law is not what you might expect. If a company is found guilty of infringement and later on, a month, a year, 10 years later, that patent is ruled invalid the "infringing" company doesn't get their money back. 
    Not automatically, but I imagine they could sue for it back, no?  That would certainly jibe with other lawyer-friendly aspect of the American justice system.  Keeping lawyers in business is what it's ultimately all about.
    Nope, can't even (successfully) sue to get it back. 
    edited January 15 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Rayz2016 said:
    commentsf said:
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 

    Disagree. No one should pay up for frivolous patents. That's the whole problem.

    I strongly believe that something need to be done to rationalize software patents.

    But until that happens, current regulations have to be followed.

  • Reply 11 of 13
    saltyzip said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    commentsf said:
    I’m an apple fan as much as the next one, but hey if indeed apple infridge someone’s patent,  even frivolous ones - it gotta pay. 

    Disagree. No one should pay up for frivolous patents. That's the whole problem.
    Rules are rules, don't do the crime if you can't pay the fine!
    They’re not crimes, these are cases where non technical people are persuaded by professional persuaders. 

    It’s exactly why software shouldn’t be patentable and should instead rely on copyright protection to prevent theft. Ideas are separate from implementation. Parenting “a flying car” (idea) isn’t legit, but patenting exactly how *your* car flies (design of the anti-grav motor) is. Should be the same with software...the idea is easy and vague, but the coded implementation is the hard part, and, as written speech, is already protected by copyright. 

    We don’t need software patents when copyright already protects code. If it’s not the same code, it’s not the same implementation. If it’s not the same implementation it doesn’t merit patent protection.

    edited January 15 MplsPmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    normmnormm Posts: 570member
    StrangeDays said:

    We don’t need software patents when copyright already protects code. If it’s not the same code, it’s not the same implementation. If it’s not the same implementation it doesn’t merit patent protection.
    There really isn't much difference between hardware and software patents, particularly today when so much hardware is really firmware.  In practice, all patent claims are a fingerprint of an idea.  For example, patenting a steering wheel, if the idea were new, might involve a broadest claim: "a means of locomotion including a turnable object, wherein the direction of travel is coupled to the orientation of the object."  If the broadest claim has too much detail, it doesn't cover anything, since you only have to change some small detail to avoid the patent.  There is no difference between software and hardware patents in this respect.

    In a fast moving field like technology, I think it might make sense to have a couple of years of protection for new ideas--to reward innovation--plus protection from too close or deceptive copying.  
    edited January 16 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    Tommyboy711Tommyboy711 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Folks,
    My family owns 9 iPhones but sadly Apple is not paying for the patents it is using in its hardware. Their profits per phone are in excess of $500 and they will not pay even 5% of these profits to the hundreds of patents they use. The courts are finally making Apple pay the pide piper. You cannot FaceTime without using VirnetX patents and Apple tried a $51 million work around for twenty months a ways back and received 500,000 complaints. So Apple gave up and resumed stealing VirnetX patents. The Appellate court ruled quickly (in one week - today) that Apples stealing of VirnetX patents during IMessaging is not acceptable. The next VirnetX Appellate decision will be concerning FaceTime. Apple has lost 4 jury trials showing up to court with 35 lawyers. This piracy that Jobs was proud must stop and the tide is now turning. Qualcomm also is fed up with the thievery per this Link:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/12/10/china-court-grants-qualcomm-injunction-against-apple.html

    Tommyboy
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