Apple to Pay $625 Million in Damages for iMessage and FaceTime Patent Infringements

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We recently reported on the latest developments in the seemingly nostalgic VirnetX vs. Apple patent infringement case. In our original report, however, we noted that VirnetX — a ruthless, patent trolling firm that has yet to commercialize any product in any form, originally requested $532 million from Apple in damages.

According to the latest (Wednesday’s) federal grand jury decision, however, VirnetX will actually be getting a bit more from the Cupertino tech-giant that it’d initially asked for.


In the aftermath of nearly a week of listening to sworn testimony and deliberating on the evidence presented them, a jury from the East Texas Federal District Court ultimately handed down a resounding judgment against Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage and VPN services, the devices running them, and found each of those devices to be an infringement on VirnetX intellectual property covering secure communications protocols.

Apple was ordered by the court to pay VirnetX $625.8 million, plus royalties from future sales of, well, pretty much anything with an Apple logo on it that can connect to the internet.

In a 2012 lawsuit involving the same intellectual property patents, Apple was ordered to pay $368.2 million. However, that verdict was ultimately appealed and vacated by the court last September.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as a result of the appeal in that case, called for a damages retrial, which ultimately concluded with Wednesday’s ruling.

So the story goes, VirnetX sought $532 million in the successive retrial, however, so it seems, that already supple sum of green was inflated to $625.6 million due to “continued willful infringement on the patents-in-suit.”


A summary of the damages (as awarded by the court) is outlined below

  • Used in iOS 3 through iOS 6, Apple’s VPN on demand feature was said to be in infringement of VirnetX patent numbers 6,502,135 and 7,490,151, leading to a $334.9 million damages award in Wednesday’s case.
  • Since Apple ‘willfully infringed’ on VirnetX patents with subsequent and current VPN protocols —FaceTime and iMessage, for instance — an additional $290.7 million judgment was handed down.

“We are thankful for the jurors’ hard work and attention in this case, and for reaching a just verdict. The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX’s patented technology for years,” said VirnetX attorney Jason Cassady of Dallas law firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry.

Wednesday’s resolution is merely the latest in a string of seemingly unending victories for VirnetX. The company has for long tried (and succeeded) to leverage its robust patent portfolio against big-name tech companies — among them, Microsoft, which in 2010 resulted in the two company’s settling out of court for $200 million; and again for $23 million, in 2014, as part of a case involving Skype.

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