Apple Just Lost $626M To A Patent Troll In Court

In news the team at Samsung doubtlessly find karmically appropriate, a jury has found that Apple must pay $626 million in damages for patent infringement connected to iMessage, FaceTime and other Apple software.

The plaintiff in the case, VirnetX, has been in court with Apple since in 2012. The firm has been labeled a patent troll, meaning its only real business function is acquiring patents and then suing businesses that it believes have infringed on its intellectual property. All in, VirnetX holds about 80 patents — four of which form the basis of the case against Apple.

Apple first lost this case in 2012 to the tune of $368 million. However, Apple managed to win on appeal when it proved that the software in question was not a necessary or central selling point for the iPad.

The appeals court vacated the damages, and sent the case back down to the East Texas District Court for a retrial.

The new jury then found Wednesday (Feb. 3) that Apple owed even more to VirnetX because it “willfully” violated the company’s patents.

Apple, to avoid future difficulty with VirnetX has since removed anything covered by the firm’s patents from their devices.

VirnetX is a somewhat successful patent trolling operation. In 2010, it settled out of court with Microsoft for $200 million and filed a new case against them last year. It lost a patent case brought against Cisco.


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