Patent troll on the rebound as Apple court-ordered to pay $302M in damages

apple patent retrial virtnetx facetime
Apple received some bad news from its ensuing legal battles with VirtnetX, with the Cupertino, California-based company found guilty of patent infringement in a recent retrial, Bloomberg reports.

The retrial came to be from a judge overruling VirtnetX’s February victory against Apple. VirtnetX, a nonpracticing entity, brought its case against Apple, believing the latter violated several patents related to its virtual private networking technologies.

In that February decision, Apple was found guilty of patent infringement and ordered to pay almost $626 million in damages. However, a judge overruled the decision in August and ordered two separate retrials. The problem, according to the reversal, was that the original trial, which itself was a combination of two separate patent trials, blurred some lines and might have caused confusion among the jurors.

As a result, the judge ordered two retrials, one of which was this recent decision against Apple. The verdict, handed down by Judge Robert Shroeder in the East Texas Federal District Court, gives VirtnetX a leg up on Apple as the two companies’ legal battles against each other continue to unfold and awarded the nonpracticing entity $302.4 million in damages.

According to court records, however, there will be another court proceeding as to whether Apple willfully violated VirtnetX’s patents, which means the latter might see more money head its way. Furthermore, keep in mind that there is a second retrial down the road, so things do not look extremely bright for Apple at the moment when it comes to VirtnetX.

That second retrial will concern Apple’s more recent security features, as well as iMessage, with the first retrial mainly concerning Apple’s FaceTime protocol. Digital Trends reached out to both Apple and VirtnetX for a comment on the matter and will update if there are responses.


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