A jury in eastern Texas ruled against Apple Inc. and ordered them to pay a hefty sum of $502.8 million in a patent infringement case filed by VirnetX. The Virtual Private Network software provided by Apple to its users has been the focal point of this battle. According to Bloomberg, the jury took almost 90 minutes to reach a consensus.
VirnetX is an Internet security and Technology Company which is often labeled as a “Patent Troll”, which is attributed to the fact that it doesn’t market its products and almost everything it receives is through the lawsuits filed on other companies. In 2014 Microsoft had to pay $23 million to settle an infringement case over skype.
VirnetX claimed a staggering $700 million in damages, which was strongly rebutted by Apple who believed $113 million to be a fair amount. At the end, jury decided that the royalty rate will be 84 cents per unit.
An Apple spokesperson gave a statement to Bloomberg- “We thank the jury for their time and appreciate their consideration but are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal. This case has been going on for over a decade, with patents that are unrelated to the core operations of our products and have been found to be invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.”
Surprisingly, Apple was also directed to pay $368 million for FaceTime infringement. Initially, they were convicted of infringing four patents but later a jury decreased it to two patents.