In what’s shaping up to be perhaps one of the most intense patent trials against Apple in recent history, the ongoing courtroom saga between the Cupertino-company and VirnetX officially hit a new low last week — when the latter, ultimate patent troll of the century, asked an East Texas judge to not only bar Apple from using its own FaceTime and iMessage services, but also for an extra $190 million in damages to boot.
And yes, unfortunately, that would be $190 million IN ADDITION to the $625 million VirnetX was awarded back in February of this year.
VirnetX, owners of several patents related to VoIP communications systems, alleged in a special court hearing that Apple owes the additional sum of cash, because in their own words, “irreparable harm was caused due to Apple being a ‘poster child’ for unreasonable legal tactics.”
For what it’s worth, though, according to Law360 — a leading legal advocacy group, the Cupertino-company may, in fact, be liable for the additional $190 million sum — as extreme and unjustified as it may seem to you and me.
Even still, though, it’s not like Apple is just going to sit back and “take it easy,” so to speak, doling out hundreds of millions of dollars to a company with so little to its name. As a matter of fact, Apple is still going through the motions of filing for a mistrial in the previous, $625 million judgment that was handed down — and therefore, I suppose, such will ultimately be the case with this latest episode, too.
In case you don’t recall, the ongoing courtroom battle between Apple and VirnetX has been going on for quite a while — with the latter originally bringing their case against the former back in 2012. That case, however, though ultimately decided in VirnetX’s favor, ended up being tossed, altogether — along with the company’s $368.2 million in damages claim.
Of course, as we mentioned, this is a long and arduous, ongoing legal process that Apple will have to navigate — either in court, or, perhaps more preferably, out of it.
The law may the law, indeed — and that’s all well and good. Apple might end up having to pay VirnetX something in the end, although that “something” still remains the lingering question here. One thing is for certain, though: there’s simply no way that Apple can afford to just “stop” using FaceTime and iMessage — two of the company’s most deeply integrated, acclaimed features.
So yeah, I guess we’ll just have to see what that magic number is when all is said and done — and, of course, we’ll keep you posted on any new developments as they arise.
What do you think about Apple’s ongoing case with VirnetX? Is it unjust for either side? Let us know in the comments!