Court rules that Apple must pay $500 million to a patent troll

Court rules that Apple must pay $500 million to a patent troll
Apple's multiyear fight with patent trolls isn't over yet, it seems, as a Texan jury has ordered it to pay half a billion to a company called VirnetX Holding Corp., set specifically to amass obscure patents, and then use litigation in suitable jurisdictions against firms that can pay alleged infringement bills.

The patents, which the court has ordered Apple to shell out $502.6 million over, relate to secure communications with FaceTime, VPN on Demand and iMessage, and the case has been bandied about from appeal to appeal forever. The latest installment of this saga doesn't really mean that Apple will have to pay the lofty sum just yet, though. The ruling was already in motion when he Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated the patents in question, and it's a matter of time before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington looks into the issue further. 

Bummer for VirnetX, but the patent troll industry isn't of the value-adding types anyway, so if and when Apple manages to wiggle its way out of this, it may set a precedent for any other ambulance chaser in the field.

source: Bloomberg

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12 Comments

1. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

And here comes the bashers!

7. ah_sukk_it

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 18, 2018

I hope they do have to pay at least a few million

2. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

patent troll? I cannot see the difference in between them and ANY other company which are buying businesses to get patents and use them later on in court. Why you are not using same tag for same practice? So if company X does it is a troll.. while.. Apple is not. That's PA.. a troll website.

3. caqde

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 16, 2017

From what I have seen a lot of websites including this one go after companies like apple for frivolous patent cases, but these companies are the worst as they don't add any value to the country through actual R&D or selling of related products. These companies unfortunately are also the cause for a lot of companies like apple and Samsung buying out smaller companies just for their patents. This way they can protect themselves from the trolls and sometimes to sue their competition... Hurray for the US patent system.

6. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

so having an R&D gives you the excuse to be a troll? This is the way how most of trolls are thinking.. looking for excuses. As a side note, have you seen any REAL patent coming out from Apple's mobile R&D division? Not talking about round corners, shades of colors, fonts, icons and such. If you want to understand what I mean by saying REAL, check Nokia's patents, Motorola and others alike.

12. caqde

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 16, 2017

I wasn't arguing for Apple nor was anything in my statement siding with apple. It was very general in it's manner I did mention selling of products related to the Patent which apple does this to me IS a reason they are better. What is the point of a patent if products related to the patent don't exist because a patent troll owns it? This does not mean I agree with Apples Patent Trolling actions I'm just saying they are better than a company that does the same thing that is just an office somewhere with hired patent lawyers. I mean heck the sole purpose of these offices are to search for companies that may be using one of their patents either through direct products or use of products that use said patent and sue them (And yes troll companies have done this). So apple is bad yes but they are better than that at least.

4. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1327; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Apple is a patent troll themselves so if they end up winning it may be used against them in the future. They sued Samsung because their phone had rounded corners, was flat and had a screen. If that's not trolling then nothing is. On another note had it not long ago been established that VirtnetX's patents were used in defense contracts? If so that may be why Apple keeps getting hit by losses in this case.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4267; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Well deserved. The system is what it is, blame the rules not the patent troll.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31321; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well...damn!

9. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Good apple deserves it, because apple is a troll also!

10. airoid

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

So if someone infringed Apple's touch ID patents. Is Apple a patent troll? because last time I check Apple bought those patents from AuthenTech company. That is exactly how VirnetX obtained the patents. They bought it.

11. mike2959

Posts: 696; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Trust me. Apple would rather pay their lawyers 500 million than to some BS company. All you Apple bashers...ACTUAL paid court losses for Apple amount to less than 1% of Apple’s sales. Trust me. Big companies don’t lose.

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