Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Apple Inc. loses a patent infringement lawsuit against VirnetX

Apple Inc. loses a patent infringement lawsuit against VirnetX

According to Bloomberg, a federal court in Texas wrapped up the most recent case earlier today, ruling that Apple infringed on VirnetX patents with iMessenger and FaceTime.

Over two years ago, VirnetX announced that it was seeking $532 million in damages from Apple over patent infringements relating to iMessage, FaceTime, and VPN technologies. Currently, both the firms have locked horns and are in a legal battle since 2010.

As Ars has previously reported, VirnetX had won three separate jury trials against Apple, all in the Eastern District of Texas, a longtime hotspot for patent-holding companies seeking to sue tech companies.

Incidentally, in the fourth quarter of previous year, the U.S. District Court had ordered Apple Inc.to pay almost Dollars 439.

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Apple's stock has seen little change on the news given that the $502.6 million award is minuscule compared to the company's profits. That's because PTAB believes VirnetX's patents are invalid even for cases now in progress. The case isn't dead yet though, the USA legal system has plenty of room for additional appeals and Apple is exploring those options already.

Apple is yet to comment on the case, but things are not necessarily clear cut for VirnetX; around 18 months ago, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board said that the patents were invalid.

In 2017 however, Apple filed an appeal against the US district court verdict, though it lost the case.

The Federal Circuit, which handles all patent appeals, declined to put this trial on hold, saying it was so far along that a verdict would come before a final validity decision.

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