Apple Inc. loses a patent infringement lawsuit against VirnetX

Apple ordered to pay patent troll more than $500 million in iMessage case

A federal jury in East Texas has found that Apple is guilty of infringing secure communications patents belonging to VirnetX Holding Corp., a notorious patent troll that has been battling Apple in court for almost eight years now.

The legal battle started in 2010 and had bounced between courts and trials. VirnetX claimed that features in Apple's FaceTime, VPN on Demand, and iMessage infringes upon these patents.

Incidentally, in the fourth quarter of previous year, the U.S. District Court had ordered Apple Inc.to pay almost Dollars 439. The case isn't dead yet though, the USA legal system has plenty of room for additional appeals and Apple is exploring those options already. Even so, there was still a major difference there, Apple and Samsung both use their patents in products that they make and sell, while VirtnetX focuses on court cases to bring in revenue.

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Kendall Larsen, CEO of VirnetX, said the damages, which were based on sales of more than 400 million Apple devices, were "fair". Courts have sided with VirnetX in the past and previously awarded the company $302 million.

Apple's stock has seen little change on the news given that the $502.6 million award is minuscule compared to the company's profits. We don't know if this decision will stick since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has already invalidated the patents involved in this case far before the Texas court handed down the verdict. This time around, there again reportedly seemed to be no successful streak for the company. As Bloomberg notes, however, the victory may be short-lived.

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