Apple Inc. has lost a patent war against VirnetX, an internet security software and technology company based in Nevada. According to a report in Fortune, the tech giant has been ordered by a jury in Tyler, Texas, to pay $302.4 million in damages for infringing on two patents related to secure communications. The jury has found that the iPhone maker used VirnetX’s patented internet security technology in its FaceTime videoconferencing application without permission.
Apple Infringed On Four Patents
VirnetX entered into a patent war with Apple in 2010 when the company filed lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas. VirnetX claimed that Apple had infringed on its four patents related to secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links.
This was the third trial between the two companies. In 2012, the court ordered Apple to pay $368.2 million to VirnetX in damages.
The verdict, however, was thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year, two cases were combined, but, at the end of July, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas overturned the $625.6 million fine for Apple. On July 19, the court vacated its previous order consolidating the two cases and ordered the parties to retry them as separate cases.
Next For Apple: Court Proceeding, Second Lawsuit
Court documents show that Apple Inc. will face court proceeding over whether the company willfully infringed the patents, which could lead to higher damages, according to Fortune.
The iPhone maker will face the trial in a second lawsuit filed by VirnetX over newer versions of Apple security features, as well as its iMessage application.
According to court documents, VirnetX had been assigned the four patents by Science Applications International Corp in 2006.
The case is VirnetX Inc v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, No. 10-417.
VirnetX is an internet security software and technology company with patented technology for secure communications including 4G LTE security. The communications technology company was founded by a group of employees at the Science Applications International Corp.
VirnetX’s software and technology solutions include its secure domain name registry and Gabriel Connection Technology. The company designed these solutions to facilitate secure communications and to create a secure environment for real-time communication applications such as instant messaging, VoIP, smart phones, eReaders and video conferencing.
VirnetX’s patent portfolio includes over 112 U.S. and international patents and over 75 pending applications, according to the company’s website.
In other news, Apple received an overweight rating from Barclays, who also removed it its ‘top pick’ designation, citing fading smartphone industry trends. Moreover, the company’s new iMessage app, which is part of iOS 10 operating system, presents a privacy problem, according to a report by The Intercept.