VirnetX Wins Another $502.6 Million Award From Apple in Patent Trial

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    VirnetX was today awarded $502.6 million in a patent trial against Apple, reports Bloomberg. Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features are said to infringe on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

    Apple's legal dispute with VirnetX has spanned eight years and multiple trials thus far, and the $502.6 million awarded to the patent company today is separate from the $439 million awarded to VirnetX in October in a different trial. Today's $502.6 million jury award appears to pertain to newer versions of Apple devices that have a redesigned FaceTime protocol introduced in iOS 7 and iOS 8.


    VirnetX CEO said the damages awarded, which were based on sales of upwards of 400 million Apple devices, were "fair" and that the "evidence was clear."

    VirnetX originally sued Apple in 2010, alleging that Apple's FaceTime peer-to-peer connection technology infringed on its patents. VirnetX was initially awarded $368.2 million in 2012, but the original case has been wrapped up in appeals since then. In October of 2017, Apple was told to pay $439.7 million in a final judgement of the original case, which the Cupertino company said it would appeal.

    Combined, Apple now owes VirnetX $942 million, but Apple is likely to appeal this most recent ruling so that may not be the final award granted to the patent company. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has also said that the patents involved in the case are invalid in separate cases that are being handled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

    A final validity ruling has not been made yet, and the outcome of that case could ultimately impact this trial. The Federal Circuit declined to put the current trial on hold despite the question of the patent validity, says Bloomberg, because it was so far along.

    Article Link: VirnetX Wins Another $502.6 Million Award From Apple in Patent Trial
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    The appeals generally go more in Apple's favor.
  3. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
    That's pretty damaging if they were found guilty of infringement and ordered to pay. It hasn't looked good lately for Apple with everyone wanting a piece of the pie. My only concern is they will pass this "settlement" on to the consumers in future devices.
  4. brunerd macrumors member


    Sep 24, 2009
    Does VirnetX hold patents relating to iMessages in the Cloud too?!
  5. Statusnone88 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2010
    That’s crazy. Never thought about it. Raise prices to make up lost revenue.
  6. TheMacDaddy1 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2016
    VirnetX originally had 4 patents related to LTE. They have never used one to sell an actual product. They have over 100 now. Nothing they created, just bought up. 90% of their employees are lawyers.

    They define the term "Patent Troll".
  7. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008

    which in turn defines the word "irony"... apple does exactly the same thing with patents, so...
  8. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    Only in their hometown right? LOL.
  9. nfl46 macrumors 604


    Oct 5, 2008
    Dang. iPhone Xs price is now going to be $100 more. Tim is pissed. He wants to make that money back this year!
  10. Lyoha macrumors newbie


    Mar 20, 2014
    Apple has products on the market. The definition of a patent troll includes holding patents but not having a product.
  11. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Take a lesson from Samsung. Keep appealing and it will go away eventually.
  12. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    There's a reason the X costs north of a grand. Billion dollar settlements... The price of doing billion dollar business I guess.

    And this is just one / there's lots of others.

    Apple knows if a new technology to be implemented will infringe on a patent, but they steal it anyway and leave the matter for the courts after they've raked in their billions.
  13. britboyj macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2009
  14. deanthedev Suspended


    Sep 29, 2017
    Going to be lots of MR posters celebrating tonight. Seems like they’re only happy when something negative happens regarding Apple.
  15. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The suit was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

    This tells you everything you need to know. This is where all patent trolls file, because the district is pro-patent troll.
  16. deanthedev Suspended


    Sep 29, 2017
    I don’t buy that definition. IMO, the actions taken by owners of patents is what defines them as trolls, not the organization of their company. A company that make products could act like a troll and a company that only owns patents could behave ethically and not be a troll.

    If I’m a small independent inventor, and I come up with a new invention, then I’m supposedly a patent troll because I don’t actually manufacture anything? What if I want to license my invention to a large company, because I don’t have the millions (or billions) required to go into production? Suddenly I’m a troll just for creating something but not producing it myself?
  17. jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    These companies are purely patent holding as their raison d'etre. They intend to do absolutely nothing with said patents, and lie in wait to pounce on any company that uses similar technologies; the latter usually having no knowledge of said (usually highly obscure) patent even existing.

    Hence patent troll being an apt description of their business model.
  18. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    No, because you:

    1) Actually invented something and patented it, rather than looked through existing patents and bought them;
    2) Licensed it with the intention it would actually be used in a product.

    "Patent Trolls" do not develop Intellectual Property - they buy existing IP that is broadly and vaguely defined to maximize it's potential applicability. They then use that "war chest" of purchased patents to sue as many companies actually making product as possible to generate income from those patents.
  19. lederermc macrumors 6502


    Sep 30, 2014
    I wonder if Apple (and other tech companies) did not sell any product in that district in East Texas if the patient troll would have to sue in another district?
  20. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    What patents does Apple litigate that they’re not using?
  21. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    definition of a patent troll hasn't been formally defined.
    but a company that buys patents (instead of inventing them) and has a workforce of 90% lawyers suing anyone that supposedly infringes on the patents can be considered a patent troll.
  22. usarioclave macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2003
    This is amusing, because the patents have already been declared invalid by one court...although it's obviously worth it, since if VirnetX wins they get $1bn plus.

    Intellectual property is property. If you have a vacant lot that doesn't mean someone can take it and use it for something else.
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    Apple makes products. They may never use some of these patents, but it’s probably not for a lack of intention.
  24. cmaier Suspended

    Jul 25, 2007
    The formal term for patent troll is “non-practicing entity (NPE).” It refers to an entity which does not make or sell its own products but asserts patents against others.
  25. Gregg Thurman macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2009
    I don't like the "patent troll" business model, but, if I buy a business then I expect to monetize its assets. THAT is exactly what is happening with patent holding companies. There is nothing new in that concept.

    What I really don't like is asserting patents of dubious value (if any) in the hopes of extorting a license vs the cost of a trial. This is what I believe VirnetX is doing. The number of patent suits arising from patent holding companies, that are then deemed invalid is quite large, and it appears this will happen with VirnetX's suits against Apple.


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189 April 10, 2018