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Judge invalidates $625 million VirnetX verdict against Apple, retrial set for September

By Jos ยท 5 replies
Aug 2, 2016
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  1. Apple has won a key ruling against VirnetX over patents related to FaceTime and its VPN on-demand feature. The companies have been in dispute for some time, with damages of $368.2 million awarded to Texas-based VirnetX in a previous case in 2012, and a separate $290.7 million award earlier this year. Now, however, US district judge Robert Schroeder, is vacating the verdicts and has ordered a new trial to begin in September.

    The trial was combined into a retrial for damages against Apple in 2012’s case over a VPN-related patent, and as a new trial for patent infringement in iMessage and FaceTime.

    Schroeder said VirnetX lawyers acted improperly and may have biased the jury with repeated mentions of the previous win over Apple, creating confusion and unfairly prejudicing Apple. While VirnetX was allowed to mention the verdict, it reportedly did so at the wrong time.

    The judge quoted a VirnetX attorney’s argument during the trial that he viewed as potentially prejudicial: “There was a trial in November of 2012 right here in this courthouse and right here in this courtroom. And at trial Apple said those same remarks about not using the patent. And you know, the jury didn't believe them and agreed with us. And there was a verdict in late 2012, November, that [VOD] and FaceTime infringes."

    Schroeder also felt that that combining two lawsuits (one over FaceTime and the other over VPN technology) into one trial created the "potential for juror confusion."

    That doesn’t mean Apple is on the clear, however. The judge has ordered two new trials to deal with the claims separately, with the first starting on September 26th, 2016.

    ArsTechnica reports VirnetX’s patents originated at a company called Science Applications International Corporation. So far VirnetX’s has basically used its patent portfolio to sue technology companies that are actually developing products and services, and has yet to develop their own. Following the judgement, the company's shares fell 44.6 percent.

    Permalink to story.

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,318

    The seems like a similar situation to US presidential elections. You can't possibly pick one of these two to "root for". You can only pick your "favorite" to root against...:oops:

    Although if the Federal courts finally wise up to companies like VirnetX whose only product is lawsuits, the world would be a better place.

    Legislation which either forces a product into the public domain if not used within "XX" years, (much less than the 17 now), or simply forces you to surrender it outright, might be a boon to all mankind.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +159

    The big companies steal whatever patents they want already and just out-lawyer the inventors. I agree that patent trolls are a problem, but when an inventor tries to sell his idea to a company, they turn him down, then begin to produce it on their own a couple of years later, they normally get away with it. Their is therefore no reason to innovate unless that is your job within a company.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,318

    Well big fish eat little fish. I'm still confounded by the way we persist in separating ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom. Hell, I can't even put a bowl out back of my house to feed some stray kittens without the neighbors stealing it. (Did I mention this is stuff from a dollar store)?

    As far as "innovation", they can cram next years "vastly improved cell phone" the same place I suggested they put last years.

    A thinner tablet you say? That's just another place to download crap and adware.

    If we turn this whole thing around, and suggest "patent warehouses w/ legal teams", actually do pay the poor guy on the street who has an idea he doesn't want stolen, peanuts for it, and then go after the "big fish" who infringe upon an idea they've never even seen, why they're practically public servants, now aren't they?

    IMHO, they should reinstate the draft, start another war, then disallow any college attendance deferments for those in law school, and the world would be a better place. (y)

    That would, "thin out the herd", so to speak.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  5. petert

    petert TS Booster Posts: 177   +49

    I've read sometime ago that the average cost of a patent trial is about 4 million bucks which most small companies, startups, inventors, etc. cannot afford.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,318

    You need to go watch the movie, "Rollerball". It predicted only a half dozen or so global corporation which pretty much owned everything in the world. So much wisdom and prescience in a movie from 1975: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollerball_(1975_film) Ya can't say ya weren't warned.
    petert likes this.

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