Apple Ordered to Pay $302 Million in Damages to VirnetX in Patent Retrial

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Apple has been ordered to pay more than $302 million in damages for using VirnetX Holding Corp's patented internet security technology in its FaceTime platform without permission.

According to a Reuters report filed late on Friday, the verdict was handed down by a federal jury in Texas that has a reputation for awarding favorable verdicts to plaintiffs in cases involving patent infringement.


The U.S. district judge presiding over the case, Robert Schroeder, previously threw out VirnetX's $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused.

The case with Nevada-based patent licensor VirnetX originally began in 2010, with a jury eventually awarding the company $368 million in 2012, but that decision was thrown out in 2014 after the court decided there were problems with how the trial judge had instructed jurors on calculating damages.

VirnetX continued to pursue Apple in relation to patents it believes the company infringed upon. The previous two suits were combined by the licensor's lawyers, and in February, a jury returned with an even bigger verdict, $625.6 million - one of the highest ever in a U.S. patent case.

However, Schroeder later voided the result, saying that the repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple.

In the latest trial, reports Reuters, jurors were asked to determine damages on two VirnetX patents that Apple had already been found to infringe, and to determine both infringement and damages on another two patents. The final $302.4 million award was in line with what VirnetX had been demanding.

Neither Apple nor VirnetX have commented on the latest case, although Cupertino will surely exhaust all avenues for appeals before accepting the result. In the meantime, it is facing another court proceeding over whether it willfully infinged the patents, which could lead to higher damages.

Apple is also set to contend with the trial in a second lawsuit filed by VirnetX over newer versions of Apple security features, as well as its iMessage platform.

Article Link: Apple Ordered to Pay $302 Million in Damages to VirnetX in Patent Retrial
 
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jimbobb24

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,225
1,601
How do you seek permission for vague software patents that should never be awarded and for which there is no product to compare to? Software patents need to stop or be 3 years only unless the company has an active product and then they should be maybe 5 years. Software patents are just a dumb idea. Software copyrights are a good idea. That way people cannot steal code.
 

fitshaced

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2011
1,730
3,104
How do you seek permission for vague software patents that should never be awarded and for which there is no product to compare to? Software patents need to stop or be 3 years only unless the company has an active product and then they should be maybe 5 years. Software patents are just a dumb idea. Software copyrights are a good idea. That way people cannot steal code.
Apple play that game too but I do agree. Software patents (in fact most patents) should be scrapped. They have a purpose but when they are awarded based on putting money down and not an actual unique and new idea, they serve no purpose.
 

RedOrchestra

Suspended
Aug 13, 2012
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So is Apple guilty of infringement of patent rights or not ... this article just talks about getting the case dismissed on technicalities related to the judicial process.
 

macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
3,836
4,554
Cybertron
What is it people have against "patent trolls"? So what if they have no product. Is making the product the hard part or coming up with the idea the hard part. If people think making the product is the hard part, then why are those same people angry when Samsung has a smartphone that looks like an iPhone?
 
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Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
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Virnet actually had an app in the App Store IIRC. They're not entirely patent trolls.
 

ForkHandles

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2012
174
359
This is not significant, the system is working well and I can't see a reason for change.

When Apple got into their most lucrative business (iPhones) they were 30 years late everyone else making phones. They piggy backed a million patents in every technology sector to create a phone. Despite this overwhelming complexity they were still able to make huge profits despite not having been involved in the evolution of the phone up to that point. Patent trolling isn't sexy but it also isn't a barrier to companies making profit.
 

RedOrchestra

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Aug 13, 2012
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They piggy backed a million patents in every technology sector to create a phone. Despite this overwhelming complexity they were still able to make huge profits despite not having been involved in the evolution of the phone up to that point

And doing exactly the same thing with Apple Pay.
 
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Gorms

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2012
544
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What is it people have against "patent trolls"? So what if they have no product. Is making the product the hard part or coming up with the idea the hard part. If people think making the product is the hard part, then why are those same people angry when Samsung has a smartphone that looks like an iPhone?
Making products is the hard part. I came up with idea for a service THE SAME as Uk brand Just Eat in 1999 whilst stoned on a bench with my mate. Doesn't mean we did anything about it and we definitely shouldn't be rewarded for thinking about something then doing nothing.
 

nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,075
4,474
The law is the law, patent trolls exist because of mismanagement of the patent office. The problem here is government, like it always is, not the trolls. Until people get tired of all of these incompetent government bureaucrats its only going to get worse. Most of these patents should never have been granted to begin with.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,253
12,212
Europe
How do you seek permission for vague software patents that should never be awarded and for which there is no product to compare to? Software patents need to stop or be 3 years only unless the company has an active product and then they should be maybe 5 years. Software patents are just a dumb idea. Software copyrights are a good idea. That way people cannot steal code.
What about universities? Do you expect them to also sell an active product? How about business bankruptcy estates trying to recoup investors' losses? Do you expect them to also sell an active product?

What is an active product anyway? Wouldn't an NPE be able to make up a product, make less than a dozen of these token products, and list them for an absurdly high price where no one would ever buy it? Seems like unnecessary busy-work? If not, and you would require proof of sales, wouldn't that unfairly disadvantage small companies?
 
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