Apple’s protracted legal battle with VirnetX has received a new sequel. Last Friday, a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled that Apple must pay VirnetX $ 502.8 million in royalties for VPN on Demand, an iOS feature that gives iPhone owners access to virtual private networks.
According to Bloomberg, the jury took an hour and a half to make a decision. VirnetX, which has been called a patent troll due to its lack of in-house development and litigation with large technology companies for alleged infringement of patents acquired from other companies, initially demanded $ 700 million. In turn, Apple argued that a more reasonable royalty rate was 19 cents per device, which will bring VirnetX $ 113 million, Bloomberg reported. The jury awarded Apple to pay 84 cents per device.
This legal saga of the trial began about a decade ago after VirnetX accused Apple of infringing on its intellectual property. In her lawsuit, it was reported that FaceTime, iMessage and VPN on Demand functions infringed his patents related to secure communications, in particular, on technologies developed for the US Central Intelligence Agency.
A few months ago, the tech giant was ordered by a court order to pay VirnetX $ 454 million, but this was for earlier versions of the features. The new jury decision means that Apple must pay $ 502.8 million in addition to that amount.
“We thank the jury for their time and appreciate their attention, but we are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal. This case has been going on for over ten years, and patents not related to the main activity of our products have been declared invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to suppress innovation and harm consumers.“, – commented a spokesman for Apple on the jury’s decision.
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