Apple To Pay $440 Million After Losing Patent Lawsuit
A patent-holding firm known as VirnetX has been handed a win in a legal fight with Apple where the iPhone maker is accused on infringing on patents with its FaceTime and VPN on Demand products. In an order that was unsealed Friday, a federal judge awarded VirnetX approximately $302 million which the firm had won in a jury verdict last year. The federal judge also added $41.3 million for enhanced damages and another $96 million in attorneys’ fees and costs plus interest bringing the total amount that Apple has to pay to $439.7 million.
“We are elated with the Court’s Final Judgement of $439 million in that not only did it affirm the jury’s verdict of $1.20 per infringing iPhone, iPad and Mac Product, but also added for willful infringement, interest and attorney fees,” Kendall Larsen, the president and chief executive officer of VirnetX, said in a statement.
In three distinct jury trial VirnetX has won against Apple. All the cases have been heard in East Texas which has become a hotspot for patent trolls whose intention is to make money by suing tech firms. The first time VirnetX won was five years ago when the patent-holding firm was awarded damages worth $368 million by a jury. On filing an appeal the jury verdict was overturned.
Last year in February there was a second trial where VirnetX won and was awarded damages worth $625 million. A judge however threw out the verdict before a third trial in September last year where Apple lost again. According to the federal judge there were conflicts of interest in the first trial after Apple hired a former employee of VirnetX as a jury consultant.
As a company that is publicly traded, the SEC filings on VirnetX reveal that despite mentioning that it provides certain services on its website such as a messaging system and secure these services don’t bring in any revenue at all. The filings also reveal that VirnetX has about 20 employees, both part-time and full-time, and is headquartered in the state of Nevada. Some of the wins VirnetX has had in the past include a settlement with Microsoft where it earned $200 million.