Apple Ordered To Pay VirnetX $302 Million In FaceTime Patent Retrial Loss
Given the fact that Apple is one of the biggest companies on the planet, it's sometimes easy to get impression that the company is unstoppable and can't be touched. In terms of sales, that might be true for now, but in legal matters, being a Goliath means very little and often times you're a target.
This latest case is a perfect example, and while Apple won't face time clinging to steel bars or picking up rubbish around a park, it is required to open its wallet ever-so-slightly to pull out $302.4 million in chump change to pay VirnetX Holding Corp for infringing on two of its patents. The infringements are tied to Apple's FaceTime calling feature, which lets users see who they're talking to, with complete interoperability between an iOS device and an OS X powered machine.
Regardless of how flush with cash Apple is, $302 million is a still a lot of money and a sizable victory for VirnetX. However, the judgment could have been even higher. In an earlier trial, VirnetX was awarded $625.6 million, but the judge tossed the case out because the company was trying to package too many issues into a single case. This isn't, however, the first time VirnetX and Apple have squared off, with Apple on the losing end.
Apple, conversely, has claimed that it never owed VirnetX anything more than $25 million, so this judgment has got to sting a little bit. For VirnetX, this is clearly a major win, as the company has been unsuccessful in selling its own software solution, and now relies on patent licensing to make a buck. Regardless, paying its roughly 20 employees shouldn't be a worry for a while.