Apple to pay $626 million after losing massive patent lawsuit

Apple loses VirnetX patent lawsuit

Apple has been ordered to pay $626 million in damages after a jury found the company’s iMessage, FaceTime, and other Apple software infringed on another company’s patents.

VirnetX first sued Apple in 2012 for violation of four patents held by the company.

VirnetX has been labeled a “patent troll” because it is a patent holding company that makes no actual products. It has just 14 employees and rents office space for $5,000 a month.

The company builds patents and then licenses them to other firms. Suing any company that has infringed on the intellectual property it has secured with the US Patent Office.

VirnetX owns about 80 patents, including the four that were the basis of the Apple suit. VirnetX had previously purchased those patents from a company called Science Applications International Corporation.

Apple was ordered to pay $368 million to VirnetX in 2012, but appealed and won on a technicality because the patent troll failed to prove that consumers were buying iPads and other gadgets because of the software that violated VirnetX’s patents.

The new jury found Wednesday that Apple owed even more to VirnetX because it “willfully” violated the company’s patents.

Apple current versions of iMessage, FaceTime and VPN software no longer utilize VirnetX’s patents.

This isn’t the first win for the company, it settled out of court with Microsoft for $200 million in 2010 and filed another lawsuit against the company in 2015. It failed to win a similar case brought against Cisco in 2015.