Apple Ordered to Pay $625 Million in VirnetX Patent Dispute

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Apple was today found guilty of willfully infringing on four patents in an ongoing dispute with VirnetX and has been ordered to pay $625 million in damages, reports CNBC.

The patents in question relate to virtual private networking (VPN) protocols and in today's ruling, the jury decided that Apple's FaceTime and iMessages service, along with the iOS devices that support those services, infringe on VirnetX's intellectual property.


The patent dispute between Apple and VirnetX dates back to 2010, with a jury initially awarding VirnetX $368 million in 2012 after Apple was found guilty of infringing on VirnetX patents. That decision was thrown out in September of 2014 after the damages were found to have been incorrectly calculated, but a damages retrial that started last week led to the decision handed down this afternoon.

VirnetX originally requested $532 million in damages, an amount that grew to $625 million taking into account the willful infringement ruling.

Ahead of the jury's decision, CNBC says Apple filed a request asking U.S District Judge Robert Schroeder to declare a mistrial, accusing VirnetX of misleading and confusing the jury during its closing arguments. Schroeder has not yet made a ruling on the request.


Article Link: Apple Ordered to Pay $625 Million in VirnetX Patent Dispute
 

tkukoc

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Sep 16, 2014
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Doubt they'll ever see any of that money, with a judgement still to be ruled on there will be some sort of behind the scenes deal made.
 

oneMadRssn

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Sep 8, 2011
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Well to be fair, Apple actually makes products that use those patents. As far as I know, VirnetX does not make a single patent and is essentially a patent troll.
But at some point down the line the patents now asserted by VirnetX were purchased by someone that paid money to a bona-fide inventor. Are you saying inventors that have no interest in licensing or commercializing an idea shouldn't be paid? Are you saying creditors that lend money to start-ups shouldn't be able to recoup their losses when and if those start-ups go bust?

I'm deff against trolls that bring nuisance suits, trying to extract settlements for less than the cost of litigation. However, clearly VirnetX is not that troll. They were ready and willing to take it all the way, and they did.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
This is pocket change for AAPL. The question really is why didn't the plaintiff settle and agree with Apple who is known as an IP advocate and willing licensee in "most" cases? Will we ever know?

I suppose the bigger issue is if the winner is willing to take the cash offshore so AAPL doesn't have to pay double taxation to satisfy the judgement.
 
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Karma*Police

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Jul 15, 2012
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So sad. If this company's sales were hurt by Apple's infringement, that's one thing, but they don't sell any products which is what makes this patent troll situation so criminal.

The patent system is clearly broken, but I feel like patent trolls is one aspect of it that can be addressed relatively easily... and should be addressed because they produce absolutely nothing and increase the cost of doing business which ultimately gets passed on to consumers.
 

Swift

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Feb 18, 2003
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But at some point down the line the patents now asserted by VirnetX were purchased by someone that paid money to a bona-fide inventor. Are you saying inventors that have no interest in licensing or commercializing an idea shouldn't be paid? Are you saying creditors that lend money to start-ups shouldn't be able to recoup their losses when and if those start-ups go bust?

I'm deff against trolls that bring nuisance suits, trying to extract settlements for less than the cost of litigation. However, clearly VirnetX is not that troll. They were ready and willing to take it all the way, and they did.
Patents should be valid only as long as the actual inventor is alive. They should be licensed-- in the case of virtual networks, as FRAND -- but not bought. They're meant to reward invention, not speculation and patent trolling.
 

rdlink

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This is pocket change for AAPL. The question really is why didn't the plaintiff settle and agree with Apple who is known as an IP advocate and willing licensee in "most" cases? Will we ever know?

I suppose the bigger issue is if the winner is willing to take the cash offshore so AAPL doesn't have to pay double taxation to satisfy the judgement.
Assuming Apple will ever pay that judgment, Tim Cook could probably pull it out of his top desk drawer.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
Ha-ha... It is nice to see Apple eat their own ****... Suing everyone's ass off and now Apple get sued. Hopefully more company sue Apple and Apple will learn the lesson.
It's not over till the fat lady sings but, with the benefit of hindsight, that 2012 award of $368 million looks good now, however I doubt Tim is losing much sleep over this. Business as usual. To varying degrees, it's a game they all play.
 
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