VirnetX Demands $532M from Apple in Patent Retrial

| News

First a Texas jury awarded VirnetX US$368.2 million from Apple over patent infringement claims, and now the company is asking a new jury to up that to $532 million. The demand comes as part of a patent infringement retrial where VirnetX claims secure network technologies Apple uses in FaceTime are being used without licensing.

VirnetX ups its damages demands to $532 million in Apple patent fightVirnetX ups its damages demands to $532 million in Apple patent fight

VirnetX's original damages win was tossed out on appeal and a new trial for some of the company's infringement claims, including newer Apple devices, was ordered. VirnetX attorney Brad Caldwell said Apple is using the company's intellectual property without permission, adding, "Apple hasn't played fair," according to Bloomberg.

Apple countered by saying it believes in protecting intellectual property. The company's legal team told the court, "VirnetX keeps moving the boundary, asking for more and more and more."

The legal fight started in 2010 when VirnetX filed its patent infringement case against Apple in U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas—a favorite venue for patent holding companies because the court has a history of ruling in their favor. The trial got underway on Halloween in 2012, and in early November the jury awarded VirnetX $368.2 million.

VirnetX filed another patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the same court only a couple days after its win. The new case named the same patents, but more recent Apple devices.

Apple convinced an appeals court to throw out the Texas Court ruling, which brings both companies to where they are today: arguing their case again, but this time with VirnetX asking for even more money.

Patent infringement litigation isn't anything new for VirnetX. The company previously got $200 million out of Microsoft over infringement claims, and has also sued NEC, Cicso and Aastra over the same patents.

The company's fight with Apple took off quickly, too. VirnetX filed its lawsuit against the iPhone and iPad maker the same day it was awarded the patents and now may be looking at an even bigger damages amount.

Apple's legal team is questioning VirnetX's new request and pointed out that the company's settlement with Microsoft works out to be about a tenth of what it wants now on a per-unit basis. The implied message to the jury is that VirnetX is being greedy and asking for far more than it deserves.

The trial is expected to run through next week, then it's up to the jury to decide if Apple is infringing and what dollar value VirnetX deserves.

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Apple's legal team should have their own parking spaces at the U.S. District Court House in eastern Texas considering how many patent trolls holding companies sue them.

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