Apple wants another shot at overturning $439 million patent lawsuit

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Millions of iPhone users in the U.K. are suing Google for illicit data collection
Apple is frequently targeted in patent cases.
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Apple wants another shot at beating so called patent troll VirnetX in court.

The Cupertino company was previously ordered to pay $439 million for infringing on two of VirnetX’s patents with its FaceTime technology. However, an appeals court has since found many of VirnetX’s patents to be unpatentable.

In a filing made this week, Apple asked the Federal U.S. Court of Appeals for a rehearing of its case. This is the second such request Apple has made, with the first one being denied.

Apple says that it could not have made the argument against VirnetX in its original petition because there was not sufficient time after the court made its verdict. Only half an hour elapsed between the judgment against VirnetX and the denial of Apple’s request.

Apple’s lawyers are seeking an “en banc” hearing. This is a session in which a case is heard before all the judges of a court, instead of a select panel of judges. It is typically reserved for cases that are either very important or very complex.

“At the very least, this [latest turn of events] requires that the underlying infringement judgment be vacated,” Apple’s lawyers argue in their claim.

The long battle between Apple and VirnetX

VirnetX is sometimes referred to as a patent troll because it doesn’t market any product or services. Instead, its money comes through licensing its technology and litigating when its patents are infringed.

Apple and VirnetX have been battling back and forth in court for years. Back in 2013, VirnetX was awarded $368 million after a U.S. court decided Apple had infringed patents relating to FaceTime and VPN technologies used in iOS. VirnetX later took Apple back to court over patented technologies relating to FaceTime and iMessage. It won again.

In this latest case, VirnetX was initially awarded $302.4 million. This was then increased to $439 million.

Apple is one of the most sued companies in the world when it comes to alleged patent infringements. That’s largely due to its market-leading position. With such deep pockets, patent holders understandably see the potential rewards of a court battle being worth the time and cost.

Source: World International Property Review