Apple Forced To Pay $368 Million To Patent Troll VirnetX

Apple Forced To Pay $368 Million To Patent Troll VirnetX

Apple doesn’t always get its own way in court.

A federal jury in Texas has ordered Apple to pay patent holding firm (“patent troll”) VirnetX $368 million for a patent-infringement complaint. Following its success, VirnetX is now working to get Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac products banned.

Dissatisfied with the payout alone, VirnetX has now filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple in an effort to get its guilty devices banned. All Things D reports that Apple has declined to comment on the situation, but it is expected to appeal.

VirnetX also has cases ongoing against Cisco, Avaya, and Siemens. It previously won a payout of over $100 million from Microsoft when it alleged that several versions of the company’s Windows operating system infringed on its patents. That’s why the company is know as a “patent troll” — its sole purpose is to use its wealthy patent portfolio to sue other companies.

  • TheKnightWhoSaysNi

    These “patent holding” companies are subverting the purpose of the patent system. They are stifling innovation instead of promoting it. They are nothing but leeches.

  • B066Y

    These “patent holding” companies are subverting the purpose of the patent system. They are stifling innovation instead of promoting it. They are nothing but leeches.

    The same could be said for Apple or any other company that uses their patent portfolio as a weapon. Just because VirnetX isn’t using the patents they own doesn’t mean they have any less of a right to defend them. If they own the patents then it is their right to go after people who use them without permission. I don’t agree with it, but that’s the way it is. The patent system as a whole needs to be reworked.

  • technochick

    East Texas is Patent Troll heaven. They always win. Apple will have their appeal filed by the end of the day as well as a motion to the ITC to not ban anything. Particularly since they claim that they do not use the method described in the patent and that is the key to a violation (the specifics)

  • technochick

    The patent laws should be changed to state, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” If a company can’t use it’s own technology within 5 years of a patent being granted, it should become open. This will stop patent trolls and patent banking by ANYONE!

    I disagree, I don’t think usage should have to be required with a patent. But what should be banned is waiting years while someone is in violation for them to make a profit before you sue. Protect it from day one or lose it like with Trademarks. Facetime is just an offshoot of iChat’s video chat and that has been around for years. Where was the suit then. Apparently it wasn’t an issue until Apple was making huge money off their mobile devices and that should be wrong

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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