Apple loses $500m patent case over iMessage and FaceTime features

12 April, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • Apple ordered to pay patent troll more than $500 million in iMessage case

VirnetX Holding Corp. won $502.6 million against Apple Inc. after a federal jury in Texas said the maker of iPhones was infringing patents for secure communications, the latest twist in a dispute now in its eighth year.

VirnetX is a patent-assertion entity, meaning its entire business model rests exclusively on suing companies that actually develop and sell products based on arcane patent infringement laws and loose interpretations of intellectual property regulations. The case seemed to have been filed again in 2012 and was won by the patent troll, after which Apple had to pay almost Dollars 368 million. Apple has been targeted by this twice over the last several years. While there will nearly certainly be jubilation at the ruling, Apple has a history of appealing. Apple emerged victorious over Samsung after it took the South Korean consumer tech giant to court for stealing its designs and technologies, but the company got a taste of its own medicine this week.

"The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has said the patents are invalid, in cases that are now before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, "Bloomberg reported".

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The case began way back in 2012 with four of VirnetX's patents (1, 2, 3, 4), which had originated at a company called Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC. It has been determined that 400 million Apple devices that infringe the troll's patents have been sold. As Bloomberg notes, however, the victory may be short-lived.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled the patents invalid, which VirnetX is appealing.

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