In February 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected Apple’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit. Now Apple has agreed to settle for US$18 million, most of which will pay attorney fees and expenses.
In 2012 a judge ruled that FaceTime infringed on VirnetX patents, so Apple began shifting toward a different relay method that used Akamai servers. Eventually Apple used a peer-to-peer method it introduced in iOS 7.
However, the lawsuit claims that Apple forced customers to upgrade so the company could avoid payments on a deal with Akamai, by intentionally creating a fake bug that caused a certificate to expire on April 16, 2014.
An email chain between Apple engineers was uncovered as part of the filing:
Hey, guys. I’m looking at the Akamai contract for next year. I understand we did something in April around iOS 6 to reduce relay utilization.
It was a big user of relay bandwidth. We broke iOS 6, and the only way to get FaceTime working again is to upgrade to iOS 7.