PATENT INFRINGER Apple has been ordered to pay Virnetx $368.2m over virtual private networking (VPN) software used in its Facetime video conferencing application.
Virnetx accused Apple of infringing four of its VPN patents in the firm's Iphone, Ipod Touch, Ipad and Macintosh computers that make use of Facetime. A US District Court jury decided that Apple must pay VirnetX $368.2m after throwing out Apple's argument that VirnetX's patents were invalid.
Apple's order to pay $368.2m to Virnetx is just over half what the firm had been seeking from Apple. The firm's lawyer, Doug Cawley said that for years had Apple not wanted to pay fair value for the patents, adding in closing arguments, "Apple says they don't infringe [Virnetx's patents]. But Apple developers testified that they didn't pay any attention to anyone's patents when developing their system."
Danny Williams, a lawyer representing Apple offered some choice words in his closing argument. He said, "Virnetx is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The Virnetx technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products." The first part of Williams' statement will surely cause the eyes of those who aren't wearing rose tinted glasses to roll.
Virnets managed to win a $200m verdict against Microsoft for similar patents back in 2010 and has now chalked up an even bigger victory. Given Apple's own recent patent litigation, few will feel sorry for the company. µ