Court tosses $503 million judgment against Apple
According to Reuters, a decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wiped out a $503 million jury award against Apple that was made in favor of VirnetX last year. Originally, Apple was found liable of infringing on four VirnetX patents, but the appeals court reversed the ruling on two of them while affirming the ruling on the other two. The case now goes back to a Texas judge who can compute a new damages figure or hold a trial solely to recalculate the damages. Apple can no longer challenge the validity of the patents since the courts have already adjudicated that issue.
Apple and VirnetX have been battling in courts since 2010 over various patent litigation initiated by VirnetX. The latter holds patents related to 4G LTE secure communications and virtual private networks. The case ruled on today by the Court of Appeals was decided by a jury back in April 2018 and they ruled that Apple's iMessage messaging app, its FaceTime video chat app and VPN On Demand infringed on four of VirnetX's patents.
VirnetX is a public company and the ruling was not considered to be good news by investors. The shares plunged over 34% after the appeals court ruling was announced. Apple's shares were not affected by the ruling; after all, $503 million is a drop in the bucket as far as the tech giant is concerned.