October 18, 2017
Apple ordered to pay $440 million to FaceTime patent troll5 min read
VirnetX is a company which is founded by former engineers and executives from Science Applications International Corporation which developed security technology for the federal agencies. It seems their endless FaceTime patent lawsuit against Apple is coming to an end. An Eastern District of Texas court has denied all of Apple’s motions to end the case in a non-infringement ruling or retrial, with a final judgment ordering Apple to pay VirnetX $439.7 million. That’s much more than the $302.4 million Apple was told to pay last year. VirnetX, widely considered a patent troll, is unsurprisingly “elated” at having won its third jury battle against Apple.
Apple shared that it plans to appeal the final judgment. And it’s no small matter that the USPTO has already invalidated all of VirnetX’s patents. That doesn’t stop the ongoing case, but the invalidation kicks in the moment all appeals have been exhausted. If Apple has better luck in court, VirnetX won’t get a second chance and it can’t wield those patents in new lawsuits regardless of what happens with Apple.
The judgment could still raise concerns for companies affected by other VirnetX-held patents, as it might set a higher bar for payouts in future cases as Microsoft ‘only’ had to pay $200 million. However, VirnetX may have more trouble winning lawsuits going forward. A Supreme Court ruling in May forced companies to sue in places where they’re either based or do a large amount of their business, preventing companies from cherry-picking court districts that tend to favor trolls.