Apple Ordered to Pay $502 Million in VirnetX Patent Battle Loss

Apple has been dealt what may be a short-lived blow in a long-fought battle with VirnetX.

A federal jury on Tuesday awarded Internet security company VirnetX hefty damages after Apple was found to have violated VirnetX patents related to secure communication in its FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN On Demand services. According to Bloomberg, which earlier reported on the verdict, VirnetX is entitled to $502.6 million in damages for the alleged infringement. The company generated just $1.5 million in revenue in all of 2017.

Apple and VirnetX have been battling it out over the patents since 2010, when the latter accused the tech giant of violating its patents in the iPhone and other devices that use FaceTime and iMessage. Courts have sided with VirnetX in the past and previously awarded the company $302 million. A judge had previously set the damages at $439.7 million. Now, that sum exceeds $500 million.

Apple has denied that its devices violate VirnetX patents and has battled previous losses. In 2014, an earlier ruling in VirnetX’s favor was thrown out by a higher court, prompting a retrial.

In a statement to Bloomberg, VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen called the damages amount “fair.”

Despite the loss, Apple, which hasn’t commented on the verdict, has some possible ways out. As Bloomberg notes, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board said in 2016 that VirnetX patents are invalid. That alone could be enough to see Apple win the long-fought battle.

Neither VirnetX nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment on the damages.


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Author:Don Reisinger
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