The U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Entertain Apple’s Plea in $440 Million VirnetX Case

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In 2016, a federal jury found Apple guilty of infringing VirnetX’s patents and awarded $302 million. Currently, the outstanding amount stands at a staggering $440 million and includes interest. Apple is trying to avoid paying damages to VirnetX for using its internet security technology in features like FaceTime. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Apple’s appeal against paying damages to VirnetX.

Apple has been arguing on the lines that certain parts of VirnetX’s patent have been canceled by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. When the court didn’t find validity in this argument, Apple decided to knock the Supreme Court’s door. However, even the Supreme Court has refused to listen to Apple’s plea. Apple appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court early this year and termed the ruling as “grossly unfair.”

Previously, Apple had appealed to the Supreme Court and said that the recalculated claim amount of $439.7 million is too high and that the court hasn’t taken into account the earlier cases. The company says that it objects to the Federal Court ruling, and the decision was based on “fundamental legal errors.” Furthermore, Apple also accused lower courts of allowing VirnetX to ask for damages that stood beyond the value of the patent.

Our Take

The whole case revolves around VirnetX’s patents related to network security, which have allegedly been used by Apple in FaceTime and iMessage services used in iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, and Macs. It’s a case that’s more than ten years old now, and it’s quite complicated. VirnetX is considered a patent troll by a lot of firms, including Apple, Cisco, and Microsoft.

The saga started a decade ago when VirnetX filed a lawsuit against Apple in the Eastern District of Texas. According to the complainant, Apple has infringed four patents for secure networks. Interestingly, this is not the only case between Apple and VirnetX. In another case, VirnetX has won over $500 million in a payout from Apple.

[via Reuters]