Apple has been ordered to pay patent troll VirnetX a whopping $625 million after losing a legal battle over the technology used for FaceTime and iMessage. The Cupertino company says it is “surprised and disappointed by the verdict,” and calls for patent reform.
Apple could owe up to $532 million for infringing on secure communication patents, used for both its FaceTime and its iMessage services — or at least it will if patent-holding entity VirnetX Holding Corporation has its way.
A lawyer for the firm told a court in (where else?) the Eastern District of Texas that, “Apple hasn’t played fair. They have taken Virnetx’s intellectual property without permission.”
With that in mind, Apple has agreed a patent licensing deal with Swedish telecom company Ericsson, ending a dispute in which Ericsson was accused by Apple of engaging in, “abusive licensing practices.”
Samsung agreed to finally pay Apple $548 million for the patent infringement case the iPhone-maker won way back in 2012, but it appears Samsung has had a change of heart and is now taking the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The company filed a 219-page appeal to the Supreme Court today, claiming that the way U.S. courts handle patent lawsuits isn’t fair because juries aren’t given enough information on how to understand the patents. Samsung is also disputing the way patent damages are calculated, noting that if multiple firms sue a company for design patent issues, the company could have to pay multiple times the profit they actually made.
Apple today published an intriguing patent application with a unique method for waterproofing future devices — by covering ports, like those for USB or headphones, with self-healing seals.
Described as an, “electronic device with hidden connector,” the invention describes how self-healing elastomeric material could seal each of the ports, which would then be opened by puncturing them with external connectors, such as power or audio feeds, in the event that they needed to be used.