Apple Ordered To Pay VirnetX $302.4 Million In FaceTime Patent Retrial Loss
Apple Inc. was orderedby a federal jury in the Eastern District of Texas on Friday night to pay more than $302 million in damages to VirnetX Holding Corp’s over the use of patented internet security technology without permission, included in its FaceTime communications app. The damage award also includes the amount Apple must pay for use of VirnetX technology in Virtual Private Network on Demand, also called VOD.
The verdict came in the third trial in Tyler, Texas in a case that began in 2010. The patent battle between Apple and VirnetX started when the patent troll filed a lawsuit against Apple in Texas for the infringement of four patents for secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links.
A jury in 2012 awarded $368.2 million in damages. However, the Court of Appeals, overturned part of the verdict, citing issues on the instructions that the trial judge gave to the jurors on how to calculate for the damages.
On remand, VirnetX’s two suits were combined, and in February, the highest amount that the jury ordered Apple to pay to VirnetX was $625.6 million for technology used in FaceTime. The amount was one of the highest ever awards ever recorded in a patent case in the United States. However, in August, the appeals court threw that ruling out, saying jurors may have been confused by references to the first reiteration of this case and were unfair to Apple.
In the latest trial, jurors were asked to determine damages on two VirnetX patents that Apple had already been found to infringe, and to find out both infringement and damages on another two patents. The $302.4 million award was in line with what VirnetX had been demanding.
While Apple declined to comment on the issue, attorney for VirnetX could not be immediately reached.
“According to court documents, Apple is to face another court proceeding over whether it willfully infringed the patents, which could lead to higher damages,” reports Reuters. “Apple will also have to contend with the trial in a second lawsuit VirnetX filed against Apple over newer versions of Apple security features, as well as its iMessage application.”
However, in order for VirnetX to actually get paid for its patents, the case will have to once again go through the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, the specialty of which is patent law.