Apple Ordered to Pay $302m in Damages to ‘Patent Holding Firm’ VirnetX
An East Texas federal jury on Friday ordered Apple to pay over $302 million in damages to VirnetX Holding Corp’s for using their patented internet security technology in its FaceTime and imessage platforms.
The verdict came in a new trial in Tyler, Texas that had been ordered by the judge in the case, Robert Schroeder, who last August threw out VirnetX’s $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused.
U.S. district judge Robert Schroeder had previously thrown out VirnetX’s $625.6 million award, in a previous trial, saying jurors in that case may have been confused.
A jury in 2012 awarded $368.2 million in damages, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., partly overturned that verdict, saying there were problems with how the trial judge instructed jurors on calculating damages.
On remand, VirnetX’s two suits were combined, and in February, a jury returned with an even bigger verdict, $625.6 million, one of the highest ever in a U.S. patent case.
Schroeder said VirnetX lawyers’ repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple.
In the trial that ended on Friday, jurors were tasked with determining damages on the two VirnetX patents that Apple has already been found to infringe. Plus, they were also to determine both infringement and damages for two other patents. The $302.4 million award was in line with what VirnetX had been demanding as damages.
Apple will also face another court date over whether it willfully infringed the patents, which could lead to higher damages. The company will also face a jury over a second lawsuit filed by VirnetX to determine if the Cupertino firm violated patents in newer versions of its security functions, and the iMessage application.
Apple spokeswoman Rachel Tulley declined to comment. An attorney for VirnetX could not immediately be reached.