Apple Ordered to Pay $626 Million in Patent Infringement Case
Apple, in a case that has been jumping around from one court to another since 2012, has been dealt a major blow. Apple has been ordered to pay VirnetX Holding corp a cool $626 million for violating patents related to FaceTime and iMessage amongst other technologies that the jury determined had been patented by VirnetX, and hence are its property.
VirnetX, is commonly known as a patent troll across the industry because of its habit of targeting tech companies and making almost all of its revenue from patent licensing and lawsuits. It has sued a number of tech companies over the past decade and has famously settled disputes with Microsoft over patents used in Skype, and made $200 million from the Redmond-based company in another patent infringement related case in 2010.
This recent verdict is in continuation from a case where a jury had found Apple guilty of violating the same patents back in 2012.The company then was asked to pay an amount of $368 million to VirnetX.
Apple appealed and won on a technicality, but as it is with the judicial system, the appeals court vacated the damages and sent the case back down to a bench at a District Court for retrial, where the jury found Apple guilty and ordered it to pay even more money to VirnetX because it found it guilty of “willfully” violating the company’s patents.
Reacting to the decision a member of the legal team from Apple said that the company would appeal the decision. The company argued that the patents in question are not valid.
“We are surprised and disappointed by the verdict and we’re going to appeal. Our employees independently designed this technology over many years, and we received patents to protect this intellectual property. All four of VirnetX’s patents have been found invalid by the patent office. Cases like this simply reinforce the desperate need for patent reform,” he said.