“A federal judge has thrown out a verdict requiring Apple Inc to pay VirnetX Holding Corp $625.6 million for infringing four patents relating to Internet security technology, causing VirnetX’s share price to plunge,” Jonathan Stempel and Andrew Chung report for Reuters. “VirnetX shares were down $1.93, or 44.6 percent, at $2.40 in Monday morning trading, after earlier falling to $2.14.”

“In a decision late Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder in Tyler, Texas said it was unfair to Apple that two VirnetX lawsuits had been combined into a single trial,” Stempel and Chung report. “He said jurors may have been confused by more than 50 references to the earlier case, though it contained “incredibly similar” issues, and deferred improperly to the prior jury’s findings when it found Apple’s liable for willful infringement. ‘The repeated references to the prior jury verdict in the consolidated case resulted in an unfair trial,’ Schroeder wrote.”

Stempel and Chung report, “He ordered that both cases be retried separately, with the first trial beginning on Sept. 26.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in February, this was a “ludicrous rocket docket joke award that won’t stand up in a real court.” Looks like it was such a joke that it couldn’t even stand up in the rocket docket itself.

SEE ALSO:
Patent troll VirnetX wants judge to block Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage services – May 26, 2016
Apple hit with $626 million damages in VirnetX patent case – February 3, 2016
VirnetX’s $368 million jury award against Apple tossed by appeals court – September 16, 2014
Apple to make changes to VPN behavior in iOS 6.1 as result of VirnetX judgement – April 5, 2013
Judge upholds $368 million patent suit verdict for VirnetX against Apple – February 27, 2013
Jury slaps Apple with $368.2 million fine over VirnetX patents – November 7, 2012
VirnetX awarded new security patent files new complaint against Apple – November 1, 2011