Apple Owes VirnetX $502M for Patent Infringements

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

The report says that the patents in question relate to Apple's FaceTime, VPN, and iMessage services. As a result, Apple has been ordered to pay damages to the tune of $502.6 million.

Apple has lost the latest round of a patent dispute over secure messaging features in its apps that could see the company forced to pay $502m (£354m) in the another twist in an eight year legal battle.

For VirnetX, the jury verdict in its favor could be a short-lived victory. VirnetX is based in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, and it filed its suit in patent troll-friendly East Texas, a district where patent holders have had a higher chance of success in intellectual property cases until the Supreme Court cracked down on the practice a year ago. Damages were based upon sales of more than 400 million Apple devices, according to Bloomberg.

"The evidence was clear", VirnetX chief Kendall Larsen said after the court's decision was announced.

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Yesterday (9 April), a jury at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that Apple had infringed four VirnetX patents with its FaceTime application. At the time, Apple said it would appeal.

The $439 million figure, which was described as "reasonable compensation", arose from post-trial motions resulting from a previous ruling in the case.

Apple has yet to comment on today's ruling, though it has had choice words for VirnetX in the past, saying that the company continually "moves the boundary, asking for more and more and more".

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