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Apple Ordered To Pay In Patent Case


Image via Tim Gouw on Unsplash

A decade-long patent dispute between Apple and VirnetX took a step closer to coming to an end as a jury in Tyler, Texas took just 90 minutes to side with VirnetX and award the company $502.8 million in royalties, according to Bloomberg.


VirnetX, which has been described as a patent troll, has been waging a lengthy legal battle against Apple for infringing on its patents for secure communications technologies used in VPN on Demand and Apple's FaceTime. VirnetX tried to persuade the jury that it should receive more than $700 million in royalties, while Apple argued it should only pay $113 million.


"We thank the jury for their time and appreciate their consideration but are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal," a spokesperson for Apple said in a statement. "This case has been going on for over a decade, with patents that are unrelated to the core operations of our products and have been found to be invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers."


If the verdict stands, it will be the second payment Apple must make to VirnetX following a $454 million payment it made in March as a result of a verdict involving earlier versions of the features. The most VirnetX received from its patent lawsuits before Apple was in 2010 when it reached a $200 million settlement with Microsoft.


Shares of VirnetX jumped nearly 25% on the news, but remain far below the levels from the early 2010's when the case was in its early stages.

VirnetX offers a platform called Gabriel, which builds upon the patents it relies on to generate royalty income, but reportedly hasn't seen the product gain traction. VirnetX says its patents are based on technologies the company developed for the Central Intelligence Agency.


With Apple planning to appeal the verdict, the David vs. Goliath patent fight isn't quite over yet and should be welcomed by the lawyers who can continue to bill the case.


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