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Patents Businesses The Courts Apple

Apple Loses Patent Retrial To VirnetX, Owes $302.4 Million (reuters.com) 64

Slashdot reader chasm22 quotes Reuters: A federal jury in Texas on Friday night ordered Apple Inc to pay more than $302 million in damages for using VirnetX Holding Corp's patented internet security technology without permission in features including its FaceTime video conferencing application. The verdict came in a new trial in Tyler, Texas that had been ordered by the judge in the case, Robert Schroeder, who last August threw out VirnetX's $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused...

A jury in 2012 awarded $368.2 million in damages, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., partly overturned that verdict, saying there were problems with how the trial judge instructed jurors on calculating damages. On remand, VirnetX's two suits were combined, and in February, a jury returned with an even bigger verdict, $625.6 million, one of the highest ever in a U.S. patent case... However, Schroeder later voided the result, saying that the repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple... Apple will also have to contend with the trial in a second lawsuit VirnetX filed against Apple over newer versions of Apple security features, as well as its iMessage application.

The article points out that "Many patent cases are handled in the Texas court, which has a reputation for awarding favorable verdicts to plaintiffs alleging infringement."
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Apple Loses Patent Retrial To VirnetX, Owes $302.4 Million

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  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:55AM (#52999431)

    From what is there, this looks like a pretty reasonable verdict. Apple infringed on four patents held by the plaintiff and got their heads handed to them.

    May very well be one of those cases where the patent system works correctly. Given Apples past bad actions it's a shame the original verdict wasn't upheld

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      302 million for Apple is like me reaching in my pants pocket and pulling out $1.55 in change.

    • This holding company doesn't make any products. This wasn't even their patents. They are a well known patent troll.
      • So ?

        For the sake of argument lets say you come up with a new encryption system
        You can raise the cash to get a patent on the technique and all the obvious related patents, so you actually have a strong lock on your invention.
        Now you are 20-50 grand in the hole and you need someway to make money off of it.

        What do you do ?

        Well you can start writing new encryption libraries and hope you can sell the tools for a reasonable amount, problem you are already in the hole and this will put you further in.

        Or you can s

  • by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @12:21PM (#52999557)
    I am not a big Apple supporter and I think our patent system is corrupt and totally broken.

    But this smells, isn't this being adjudicated in the Eastern District of Texas the center of all that screams PATENT TROLL!
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I am not a big Apple supporter and I think our patent system is corrupt and totally broken. But this smells, isn't this being adjudicated in the Eastern District of Texas the center of all that screams PATENT TROLL!

      Unfortunately its reputation for being pro-patent is now so known almost everybody files there. The jurisdiction shopping is starting to be a little ridiculous, perhaps they should make a rule that if you sue for over five million dollars (i.e. travel costs are insignificant) there's no longer a free choice of venue, instead you both submit a ranking and go down the list until you find one in common. So the plaintiff would rank Eastern Texas first, the defendant last and they'd instead meet somewhere in the

      • by Pikoro ( 844299 )

        The judge who hears most of these cases is the same guy. And his son is a patent lawyer who takes the cases of the patent trolls. You wonder why they all file in East Texas? It's all about dad making money for his family.

  • Pay them in Euros, that's one way to use the money accumulating in Ireland avoiding taxes upon repatriation. :-)
  • "The article points out that "Many patent cases are handled in the Texas court, which has a reputation for awarding favorable verdicts to plaintiffs alleging infringement.""

    Yep. The plaintiffs shop for a favorable court, and they pick this one court in a small town in Texas.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-small-town-judge-who-sees-a-quarter-of-the-nations-patent-cases
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/patently-unfair/

    • East Texas has only a *reputation* for awarding favorable verdicts to plaintiffs alleging infringement; in reality it is not the most favorable district.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @02:28PM (#53000173)

    VirtnetX pretty much sues everyone. They are patent trolls. They lost against Cisco, which means we can sill use VPNs.

    Apple will undoubtedly appeal, and cite Alice Corp vs CLS Bank, which has about a 78% win track record for the defendant, when cited as part of a patent case. Either way: the next level of appeal takes it out of East Texas, also known as "Patent Troll Heaven".

  • Apple refuses to pay $302 million to VirnetX, Cites "Courage", Tells court to "Go f*ck themselves."

    This is a joke pls no sue

  • What technology companies should start doing is just stop offering any services or products in East Texas anymore.

    See how they like the luddite repercussions. Really they are ruining it for the rest of the world, so why should they see any of the benefits?

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