Apple slapped with a huge $625 million Patent Troll verdict over FaceTime, VPN patents
A U.S. court has directed Apple to pay $625 million to infamous patent troll VirnetX for infringing on patents used in its iMessage and FaceTime services.
Commonly referred to as a troll, VirnetX, a Nevada holding company, has made almost majority of its revenue from patent licensing and lawsuits by suing a number of tech companies over the past decade. In 2014, it settled a dispute with Microsoft over patents used in Skype by pocketing $24 million in the process. Similarly, it was able to churn out $200 million from the Redmond based company over the alleged use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) patents in FaceTime video chats via a 2010 case.
“We are thankful for the jurors’ hard work and attention in this case, and for reaching a just verdict,” said VirnetX attorney Jason Cassady in a statement. “The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX’s patented technology for years.”
According to the company’s lawyers, the jury award included royalties based on an earlier patent infringement finding in favor of VirnetX.
Apple on Wednesday filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge to declare a mistrial, saying VirnetX’s attorneys had misled the jury during closing arguments.
“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,” it said in a statement.
In November 2012, a jury found Apple infringed four VirnetX patents with its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad products, as well as with its Mac computers, awarding $368.2 million in damages. However, Apple later tweaked its services, but VirnetX claimed that the changes were not enough.