VirnetX's $503 Million Patent Win Over Apple Vacated on Appeal in Mixed Result

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A legal battle between Apple and VirnetX that dates back nine years has seen a new development today, with a $503 million judgment from 2018 against Apple for patent infringement vacated by an appeals court and the case sent back to a lower court for reconsideration, reports Reuters.


The result is a mixed one for Apple at this point, with the appeals court finding only a partial reversal in affirming infringement by Apple on two counts and reversing on two other counts. The appeals court is sending the case back to district court to determine whether revised damages against Apple can be calculated or if a new damages trial will have to be held.

The case in question is just one of two involving Apple and VirnetX over communications security patents related to VPN, iMessage, and FaceTime. Apple is currently on the hook for $440 million in the other case, but appeals remain in progress.

Article Link: VirnetX's $503 Million Patent Win Over Apple Vacated on Appeal in Mixed Result
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2004
2,333
4,066
Eastern USA
If Samsung didn’t have to pay the entire original verdict for copying the iPhone, Apple sure as hell shouldn’t have to pay the original verdict for this baloney lawsuit.

And no, I’m not going to continue a conversation about whether or not Samsung copied the iPhone.
 
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macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
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VirnetX are patent trolls, plain and simple. They do not use anything they have in their "patent portfolio" and simple sue to make money. East Texas is super friendly to them, which makes you wonder if there are kickbacks involved. Google, Apple and others have all been sued by them.
So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,179
648
At this rate, these lawyers are going to spend their entire career working on this one patent case.
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
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There will be no tears for the patent troll.

I hate patent trolls.... they seek out vaguely worded patents on half-baked methods that might describe some innovation and when somebody ACTUALLY INVENTS and CREATES something that is fully baked and actually works and provides something good the patent trolls dig through their piles of stale patents to find something vaguely similar to the wording in the patent, they dust off the patent and file a lawsuit. The justice system should impose penalties on these guys for stifling innovation.
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az431

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2008
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Portland, OR
VirnetX are patent trolls, plain and simple. They do not use anything they have in their "patent portfolio" and simple sue to make money. East Texas is super friendly to them, which makes you wonder if there are kickbacks involved. Google, Apple and others have all been sued by them.
The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.
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There will be no tears for the patent troll.

I hate patent trolls.... they seek out vaguely worded patents on half-baked methods that might describe some innovation and when somebody ACTUALLY INVENTS and CREATES something that is fully baked and actually works and provides something good the patent trolls dig through their piles of stale patents to find something vaguely similar to the wording in the patent, they dust off the patent and file a lawsuit. The justice system should impose penalties on these guys for stifling innovation.
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Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
 
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RyanXM

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The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.
I understand what the law is and its function in this case. However, it is outdated in respect to "inventing" something in theory and never actually producing something that uses said invention. We've all have probably had thoughts of a product but have we actually gone out and made said thing(s)? More than likely not.

And I never said that they had to be using said patents. They simply have a portfolio of patents and they sue when they are infringed. That is how they make their money. One might infer that is what I meant, but I was simply stating that they don't actually have any product or business using said patents.
 
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Sedulous

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2002
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Aside from being a patent troll, the original ruling also forced Apple to change the way FaceTime works (forces an intermediary server in the chain). This reduced the quality of FaceTime. Vomitx, I mean Virnetx “infringed” patent is so vaguely worded that it could apply to just about anything. Honestly, vagaries aside, it should never been granted as prior art existed.
 

roar08

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2008
175
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The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.
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Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
I agree with the spirit of the patent system. But the patent system is being greatly abused in very real ways that do in fact stifle innovation. The spirit of the system is to protect inventors of all sizes. The reality is it's being used in an exploitative manner in many documented circumstances. Somewhat recently, Cloudflare did a great job not only standing up to one of these firms, but actively sought to invalidate all their patents. It's a good read:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/standing-up-to-a-dangerous-new-breed-of-patent-troll/
 

JonGarrett

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2016
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New York, NY
If Samsung didn’t have to pay the entire original verdict for copying the iPhone, Apple sure as hell shouldn’t have to pay the original verdict for this baloney lawsuit.

And no, I’m not going to continue a conversation about whether or not Samsung copied the iPhone.
Samsung didn't copy the iPhone, the ruling in that case was about Samsung violating 2 or 3 patents which is no different than the ruling in this case.
 

PlayUltimate

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2016
263
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Boulder, CO
So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
For Western States water law the answer may be "yes." Owners of water rights, at least in CO, have to document regular utilization of those rights. If you do not use them, they are lost. In most cases, this is not too hard. However, for ag/ranch lands, you need to show that you are actively irrigating the land.
 
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69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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And I never said that they had to be using said patents. They simply have a portfolio of patents and they sue when they are infringed. That is how they make their money. One might infer that is what I meant, but I was simply stating that they don't actually have any product or business using said patents.
Simply stated, that is wrong. They do have a product that uses their patents. A cursory visit to their website would reveal that info. Now, does that product exist only to provide a "product that uses the tech"? I don't know, but that's immaterial to countering your claim. They do have a product that uses the patents.
 
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victorm1

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2019
21
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There is no such thing as a patent troll. There isn’t and never will be a law that mandates a company or an individual to use their patents to create products. Patent troll is simply an invented term used by the PR teams of large corporations.
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I agree with the spirit of the patent system. But the patent system is being greatly abused in very real ways that do in fact stifle innovation. The spirit of the system is to protect inventors of all sizes. The reality is it's being used in an exploitative manner in many documented circumstances. Somewhat recently, Cloudflare did a great job not only standing up to one of these firms, but actively sought to invalidate all their patents. It's a good read:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/standing-up-to-a-dangerous-new-breed-of-patent-troll/
This article is hilariously biased. Of course, a massive mega corporation like Cloudflare will oppose anyone who gets in their way.

“Patent trolls serve no productive purpose. They don’t make products, conduct research and development, hire employees, or add value to society.”

Businesses in general do not exist for productive purposes. Businesses exceed to make their stakeholders money, end of story. Any business that claims otherwise is being intentionally deceptive or is doomed to fail.

On another note, it’s a noticeable pattern in “woke” Big Tech for companies to simply malign and slander their opponents. Through putting out drivel like this, these companies succeed at making the simpleminded believe that mega corporations somehow benefit anybody aside from their shareholders. It’s how we got this surreal reality where the extreme left is on the same side as Big Tech.

“Our mission is to build a better Internet.” Okay lofty claim, but actually, it’s more like to maximize profits while creating a monopoly while stifling the free internet and anyone who opposes us.
 
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Justanotherfanboy

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Jul 3, 2018
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So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
More like: if someone owned no property whatsoever, but patented the IDEA of putting a theme park on some property... yet, 10 years later- they haven’t done so. Then should nobody be able to build a theme park on their own property without paying these clowns out the nose?
That’s FAR more in line with this situation.
Apple isn’t trying to take something physical that someone owns. They, in the normal course of progress, need to solve certain problems... made more difficult by the fact that scumbags have hoarded patents pertaining to future products that they have ZERO interest in. If they don’t get paid & a less efficient way is used, consumers lose... if these dregs of society do get their sleazy way & actual companies that make us real products have to pay them & the costs are passed on, again- consumers lose.
There is no scenario in their winning where anybody ends up better, save the underhanded patent trolls themselves.
 
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GeoSciGuy

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2017
10
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East Bay Area, California
So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
The purpose of a patent is to protect an invention. There’s no law requiring “use” of a patent. Most patents aren’t “used,” including the vast majority of Apple’s patents.

Such a requirement would be absurd, and it is unlikely that a “use” requirement would become law since it is both stupid and unconstitutional.
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Lots of opinions from armchair patent attorneys who are absolutely clueless about the patent system.

Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.

In 2018, the city of Oakland, California and other cities in the East Bay passed ballot measures creating a vacant lot tax. This was put in place to incentivize development and punish people holding onto land for speculative purposes.

What if a similar law was put in place regarding patents? It would reward those actually developing the technology of each patent while punishing people that aren’t developing each patent. Undeveloped patents are like undeveloped vacant lots. If they can’t develop the patent and don’t want to be fined, they sell the patent to a company that can develop it.

It would force patent troll companies to dump all their patents very cheaply and sell to companies that would actually develop and utilize the patents.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,310
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California
Enforcing a patent doesn’t “stifle innovation.” It forces innovation to get around existing patents. That is the purpose of the patent system.

And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
1) That is not the (primary) purpose of the patent system. The purpose of the patent system is to encourage people to spend money and effort on research, without having to worry that their efforts will immediately be copied by free riders. Forcing people to ”innovate” to get around patents is not inherently beneficial since the work-arounds are not always improvements in the art.

2) There definitely are “vaguely worded” patents. This is why there are many examples of courts finding patents invalid under 35 USC §112.

I agree with the rest of what you wrote, for sure.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
4,340
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Midwest America.
So if someone buys some property and doesn't build a building on the land, in your opinion they are a property troll? And apple is free to build on the land?
And I thought I was bad at analogies...
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And if you knew anything about patents, you would know that there is no such thing as a patent that is “vaguely worded.” Patent language is incredibly detailed and precise.
Except when it isn't.

I've read some really vague patents, mainly for software, but yeah, there ARE vague patents, and they are often 'defended' in friendly courts for years.