Rejection by appeals court means that Apple's long-running patent infringement battle continues

Rejection by appeals court means that Apple's long-running patent infringement battle continues
Last November, A U.S. appeals court wiped out a $503 million award that Apple was ordered to pay to VirnetX, a publicly-traded software security company. The two companies have been battling each other in court for years and in April 2018 a jury ruled that Apple had infringed on four of VirnetX's patents with its iMessage messaging app, FaceTime video chat app and VPN On Demand. Apple was ordered to pay the software firm the aforementioned $503 million award before the appeals court reversed the order.

Apple was able to get the appellate court to overturn two out of the four verdicts against it. The other two rulings were affirmed and the case now heads to a Texas court where a judge can decide how much Apple should pay VirnetX in damages or order a new trial solely to determine what that dollar amount should be. The courts have already adjudicated the validity of the patents involved in the case, so Apple cannot challenge them. The bottom line is that Apple has been found liable for infringing on a pair of VirnetX's patents.

On Monday, Reuters reported that a request by Apple was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Apple had asked the entire court to reconsider the part of the court's previous ruling, made by a three-judge panel, that remanded the case back to the district court in Texas. With the manufacturer's request denied, the ruling is a big win for VirnetX and investors acted accordingly. During the regular trading session on Monday, the company's stock rose 28 cents or 6.62% to $4.51. In after hours trading, the shares tacked on another 24 cents or 5.32% to $4.75.

Back in 2012, Apple claimed in court that even if its engineers used the technology described in the patents, it was only a small part of some very complex parts and was used inadvertently. An attorney for VirnetX said at the time that Apple's developers apparently didn't bother looking through patents when creating FaceTime.

So the litigation between VirnetX and Apple refuses to die and Monday's ruling against Apple means that we could see at least one more trial before this long drawn out drama finally comes to an end.


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