On Friday in the Eastern District of Texas, a jury concluded in its verdict that Apple must pay VirnetX, an internet security software company, a royalty of $0.84 per device for 598,629,580 devices, totaling $502,848,847.20 that Apple must pay VirnetX for patent infringement regarding its FaceTime and iMessage features.
The litigation began in 2010 through multiple lawsuits and appeals. In 2012, VirnetX sued Apple for patent infringement claiming that Apple infringed via a VPN On Demand feature, which Apple used to allow its users access to a VPN connection. Specifically, VirnetX averred that Apple’s VPN on Demand and FaceTime use its patented technology for secure communications.
According to The Verge, Apple asserted that it intends to Apple the decision. Apple stated, “This case has been going on for over a decade, with patents that are unrelated to the core operations of our products and have been found to be invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.”
In February 2020, the Federal Circuit rejected Apple’s request to reconsider a decision that found that Apple infringed VirnetX’s patents. Moreover, in 2018, Apple was ordered to pay $502.6 million in a jury verdict for its purported infringement of four patents relating to internet-based secure communications, which its iMessage and FaceTime are based upon. In 2019, the Federal Circuit voided the $502.6 million jury verdict, but kept a Texas jury’s findings that some older iPhone models infringed two patents, which set the stage for another trial; Apple sought for the appellate panel to reconsider this verdict. Thus, Apple’s infringement was reduced from four patents to two patents. A few months ago Apple was ordered to pay VirnetX $450 million including fees for earlier versions of the purportedly infringing features. The $502.8 million verdict will be an additional sum that Apple will have to pay VirnetX.