Apple loses patent infringement retrial to VirnetX, now ordered to pay $302.4 Mn in damages


For the past five years, Apple Inc. has been caught in a dragging lawsuit against VirnetX — the security firm credited for building and designing various secured communication protocols. After losing the battle twice already, Apple asked for another retrial but it still doesn’t seem to yield an outcome in the company’s favor.

In the retrial on Friday, a federal jury in Texas has yet again ruled in favor of VirnetX, saying that Apple infringed on multiple patented internet security technologies, specially in building out its FaceTime video conferencing app.

And, thus, it has now been ordered to pay more than $302 million in damages for using the former’s tech without permission. The damage reward also includes the amount Apple must pay for use of VirnetX technology in Virtual Private Network on Demand(VOD), reports Bloomberg.

The patent infringement lawsuit(or war!?) between Apple and VirnetX kicked-off in 2010, when the latter accused the former for infringing on four of its patents for secure networks — virtual private networks and communication links. And as stated by the accuser, the Cupertino giant had been deploying this technology to secure multiple apps, including iMessage, Facetime, VPN, among others.

Then cut to 2012, we had the first verdict and the jury ruled in favor of VirnetX, asking Apple to fess up $368.2 million in damages. But this verdict was partly overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. They claimed that there were problems with how the trial judge had instructured jurors to calculate damage award. Then the case again dragged on for another couple of years.

Let’s leap-frog to February of this year, because that is when the next verdict on the whole infrigement lawsuit was annuounced. And this time, the jury preciding over the case returned with an even bigger damages amount of $625.6 million — one of the highest in an U.S. patent case. But, as luck has it, Apple didn’t have to pay the double amount as this result was also voided stating that repeated references of earlier case confused the jurors.

And now finally, we’re back to the present where the final amount now stands at a whopping $302.4 million. After multiple miscalculations, this damages amount is said to be in line with what the security firm has been demanding from Apple since the beginning of this lawsuit. But, wait, there’s still one step left. It’s not all over yet.

Bloomberg suggests that the jury might have made its call with regard to the lawsuit, but the decision still needs approval from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. This court specializes in patent law and VirnetX needs to win here as well, to be able to get its hand on the humongous sum of damage money from Apple.

And that also wouldn’t cut it for the blood-sucking security firm VirnetX, who survives on patent money. It is again dragging the Cupertino giant to court for a second lawsuit that questions the integrity of newer security features, as well as its iMessage application. Huh! Let’s hope for the best for Apple!



Leave A Reply