Apple hit with $626 million damages in VirnetX patent case

“A jury in Texas has decided Apple must pay US$626 million for infringing four patents held by a Nevada-based patent licensing company,” Martyn Williams reports for IDG News Service.

“The patents cover technology used in Apple’s VPN on Demand software back to 2009, its FaceTime messaging system back to 2010, and its iMessage software,” Williams reports. “The trial follows one in 2012 in which Apple was found to infringe on Virnet X patents but managed to overturn the verdict on appeal.”

Williams reports, “Apple has already asked the judge to declare a mistrial after lawyers for VirnetX made what Apple called ‘arguments outside the evidence, blatantly misrepresenting the testimony of Apple witnesses.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ludicrous rocket docket joke award that won’t stand up in a real court.

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


  1. It would be absolutely Outrage that Apple have to pay such a sum to a company that never ever got a product to the market and jus patented an idea, but Samsung who did balantaly copies an actual product and software and even that, they are going to pay much less even that they copied much more. Gotta love the justice system.

      1. As a fellow Texan I am embarrassed at what this court does and usually has its verdict tossed out by a higher appeals court. What kind of game is going on in Texas? Seems to be the land most favorable, lower court-wise, to patent trolls.

      2. Actually, juries have the power to rule against a law they find unjust (nullification).

        It is built into our Constitution to give the ultimate rule to the people against laws found to be oppressive.

        It doesn’t apply here, but I wish it were used more to get government off our backs for any little action we take.

    1. What is especially absurd is that the Appeals court overturned the amount of the judgement and returned it because the amount was TOO MUCH, and improperly apportioned because the original trial judge gave incorrect instructions on how to calculate the apportionment of the patents on how these itty bitty patents drove sales. At that trial, the jury came up with $320 million, which the Appeals court found to be too high a judgement for the infringed patents. Now, the Rocket Docket, has sent the case out with a doubling down of the amount, AND a finding of “willful infringement” which can result in the judge trebling the amount to 1.878 BILLION DOLLARS! I don’t think the appellate court will look too kindly on its clearly explicit directions that the apportioned amount in the first trial was too high being ignored, do you? I certainly did not buy my iMac, MacBook, or my iPhone or iPads because of Apple using VirnetX’s method of securing VPN on Demand, or securing iMessaging, or FaceTime. If I even thought about it, those features might have been worth $2 of the purchase price to me.

    1. No, That is not our argument. From what I have read, Apple doesn’t even use these patents. From looking at the patents, I doubt the jury could even begin to get an inkling of what they were about, much less decide whether Apple was using one, two, or four of them, or some other patented similar technology to make their judgement. They felt “sorry” for the little guy. . . and swallowed the arguments of the attorneys. David v. Goliath.

        1. Read what was written. The patents are so murky, and filled with techy verbiage that I don’t think even a fairly well versed technically familiar person in the field could find their way through these patents to determine whether or no Apple or anyone was infringing these patents. Apple has been consistent is stating categorically they do not use the techniques described in these patents. I, for one, believe them because Apple has been consistent in licensing technology they use in their products. There are over 2500 licensed technologies in every iPhone and iPad, so why would they NOT license these four picayune patents if they needed them?

          The standard procedure is for the engineers at Apple to design a piece of hardware or software, and then notify Apple legal for them to go through the tech with a fine tooth comb, patenting what is patentable, and licensing what needs to be licensed, if it is already patented. Again, why would Apple NOT license these particular four patents if they were being used or even relevant, if they were using them? The answer is Apple would not ignore then and take the risk of huge penalties to save a few pennies per device. It make ZERO sense to do so. In fact, it would have made MORE sense to buy the patents if they were using them. Ergo, they were using something else. In fact, Apple showed in court that they had licensed something else which accomplished the same thing using an entirely different technique, something else that was patented by someone else.

          Apple is requesting the Judge in the case to set aside the judgement because the plaintiff’s attorneys in final arguments mischaracterized and misquoted and misrepresented the testimony of Apple’s witnesses, claiming they said things they never said or even implied, leaving the jury with the impression that Apple had admitted using the VirnetX patents.

          So, yes, Cisco, the jururs were duped. They don’t understand an iota of this technology at all. Nor does the judge.

          Your final assault is about the DRPK is uncalled for.

  2. That is not Troy’s argument. His view is that Samsung has been fined less for copying the design, functions and Ui of the iPhone extensively. Whereas, Apple has been fined more for minor patents (Already overturned on appeal) that are owned by a non practicing entity. Moreover, the damages award came from a court notorious for favouring patent trolls. The damages are also excessive since VirnetX have no products and have suffered no loss of sales due to the so called patent violations.
    You might try to make the argument that Apples few patent violations that it won against Samsung were ‘minor’ as well, The difference is that Apple had products on the market that were supposed to be protected by these patents. Apple also lost billions in sales, far more than the damages that Samsung has finally been ordered to pay. Furthermore, Judge Koh vastly reduced the scope of the case from dozens and dozens of patents to just a few. This allowed Samsung to start the FUD campaign that the case was about rounded corners and a few minor features.

    Apple have had no justice in the Samsung or DoJ cases, but seem to be fair game to any and all patent trolls.
    There seems to be one rule for Apple because they are already rich and a different rule for others. In the courts eyes they don’t deserve damages when they are wronged, but Apple has plenty of money for plaintiffs whether they deserve it or not.

    1. Apple will be made to pay heavily by any and all applicable Federal agencies until they repatriate all their offshore money and pay tax on it.

      That’s the game as crappy as it is.

  3. This is a huge win for the patent system.

    I hold a few patents. But because I could not get the the funding to actually produce a commercial product from a prototype breadboard, my patents are just “ideas”.

    If Apple copies my idea, I hope I can be compensated.

    You might not like this patent system, but it is what it is.

    A company can copy and commercialize it, that’s ok, just compensate.

    1. Apparently that was not possible Apple said, because the trolls kept changing and increasing the fees/numbers every time they were to be negotiated… Sounds like extortive practives to me.

  4. The general opinion is that the entire judicial and legislative system is actively conspiring against Apple. Apparently this situation continues unimpeded. None of the posters offers a solution. If there is no solution then why complain?

  5. Apple fanboys are masochists. Rather than collectively solve a problem they would rather compete among each other for the most pitiable anecdotes of misery, woe, and persecution.

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