Apple to U.S. Supreme Court: $439 million VirnetX judgment is ‘legally wrong and grossly unfair’

Apple has told the U.S. Supreme Court that a Federal Circuit January 2019 decision to side with VirnetX in a long-running patent infringement case is “grossly unfair.” Apple said the size of the judgment resulted from the Federal Circuit making “two fundamental legal errors.”

Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider:

“Defying this court’s commands, the Federal Circuit committed two fundamental legal errors to sustain a whopping $439 million judgment,” Apple wrote in the filing spotted by Law360. “It applied a rule that is fueling grossly excessive damages awards. And it sustained the inflated award even though the PTO has invalidated the underlying patent claims.”

On the award inflation front, the petition asserts the verdict flouts precedent where the damages need to be limited to the value of the patented invention, rather than all other features of the products in question. In short, VirnetX’s award should be based on the value of its patent within products accused to use it, rather than the entire value of an iPhone or Mac…

On the second point, Apple calls the decision for the Federal Circuit to not reconsider its findings after the patent claims were invalidated “legally wrong and grossly unfair.” According to Apple, the Supreme Court has made it clear that decisions that affect pending cases must be taken into account.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, the Supreme Court sides with Apple over the VirnetX patent troll.


  1. I saw a case argued in the Supreme Court in December. It was interesting in that while it was an obscure tax case argued between the IRS and the FDIC over ownership of carry back losses, it was clear that the justices had prepared and asked common sense questions. At least one branch of govt seems to work.

  2. Ah yes, assert that the award is “grossly unfair” because the U.S. legal system (and the SCOTUS) is all about fairness. (extreme sarcasm)

    Many, many times over the past several decades the Supreme Court has refused to hear cases that are not about the law itself. Fairness has nothing to do with the law.

    Argue legal precedent. Argue law validity (or not). Argue invalidated patent claims.

    Arguing fairness is just plain stupid. It is just one more example of how bad Apple’s legal team has been for the past 35+ years.

    1. You are probably right about ‘fairness’ but that is not to say that balance, equivalence and appropriateness should be put aside when making judgements.
      Of course you are fully conversant with the sum total of Apple’s legal work which may well have saved Apple many $Bs?

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