Apple Must Pay VirnetX $302 Million in Damages After Losing Patent Retrial
On Friday a federal jury found that Apple’s FaceTime infringed on patents owned by VirnetX, which is a decision that will cost Apple more than $302 million in damages.
According to a report from Reuters, the verdict was handed down by Judge Robert Schroeder, who presided over the case in the patent holder-friendly East Texas Federal District Court in Tyler, Texas. Apple’s court battle with VirnetX dates back to 2010, when the NPE accused Apple and a handful of other companies of violating five patents covering virtual private networking.
In 2011, VirnetX narrowed its target, accusing the iPhone 4S of infringing on a single VPN patent. Apple was left on the hook for $368 million when it lost the iPhone 4S suit in 2012, but the ruling was vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last September.
VirnetX’s celebration was short lived, however, as Schroeder tossed the $625 million award, saying repeated references to earlier cases likely confused jurors, leading to an unfair trial. As a result, a pair of retrials were ordered, one of which was ended with today’s $302.4 million decision.
According to the report, the jury was asked to assign damages related to two VirnetX patents of which Apple was already found to have infringed, and to decide infringement and potential damages of two other patents. For VirnetX, today’s jury award is the latest in a string of court wins involving large technology firms.