Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ordered to pay $626 million to VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEMKT: VHC) Over Patent Infringement
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A jury in East Texas has ruled that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) must pay VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEMKT:VHC) $625.6 million for infringement of four patents. The products that Apple was accused of infringing include Apple’s VON on Demand, iMessage service and FaceTime.
The jury stated that Apple had infringed on all the patents which it had been sued for. The jury decided that Apple should pay $334.9 million for infringement of two of VirnetX patents. It also decided in favor of VirnetX on the other disputed claims and ordered Apple to pay another $290.7 million for infringing on those.
This is a huge win for VirnetX, which has no product and only makes money through patent litigations. VirnetX’s patents originated at a company referred as Science Application International Corporation. Over time, VirnetX has claimed to be in the process of marketing various products. It currently has 14 employees and a leased, small office suite in Nevada. The win was significant for this company since its shares rose from $3.60 late Tuesday and was trading at $8.80 per share early Wednesday.
Apple spokeswomen when asked about the verdict, she stated that it was a surprise and disappointment. She went ahead to say that they will appeal to higher authorities. She also noted that case like these reinforces the desperate need for patent reforms.
VirnetX lawyer, Jason Cassady said that they were thankful for the jurors handwork and commitment in the case and coming to the verdict. Cassady went ahead to state that the jury had finally seen what they were saying all along. He noted that Apple had been infringing VirnetX’s patent technology for years.
VirnetX v/s. Apple showdown was definitely one of its kind battle in which a patent troll-style company can wrest a nine-figure jury verdict from a technology company. Patent trolling is increasingly concentrated in the region. The ability to get big decesions has slowly been changing and smaller company are now more confident to sue.
VirnetX has in the past had some big wins. For instance, it wore an original patent attack on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). This suit ended in Microsoft paying $200 million settlement. Microsoft later paid an additional $23 million to complete claim that Skype had also infringed VirnetX patent. VirnetX has also sued Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) but it lost in this one.