Apple Wins Patent Appeal, Potentially Averting $502 Million Payout to VirnetX

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, which invalidated two patents that patent licensing company VirnetX had accused Apple of infringing.

This ruling could potentially save Apple from paying a $502 million verdict to VirnetX, stemming from a 13-year-long legal battle over virtual private network (VPN) technology, reports Reuters.

Neither company has commented on the court’s decision. If the Federal Circuit had not upheld the USPTO’s ruling, VirnetX’s attorney Jeff Lamken stated that the company would likely have been unable to enforce the judgment.

“If the court upholds the [USPTO’s] decision, we have a big problem,” said VirnetX attorney Jeff Lamken of MoloLamken at the September hearing. “I don’t think we have an enforceable judgment.”

The Federal Circuit’s decision was based on the determination that the patents were invalid due to earlier publications describing the same inventions.

In a previous case, VirnetX won a $302 million verdict against Apple in 2016, which was later increased to $440 million, over allegations that Apple used VirnetX’s internet-security technology in features like FaceTime video calls.

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