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Apple Ordered to Pay $368M Over FaceTime Patent Infringement

Apple Ordered to Pay $368M Over FaceTime Patent Infringement

A federal jury in Texas handed down a late-night ruling Tuesday, ordering Apple to pay $368 million for violating a VPN patent owned by software firm VirnetX.


Along with the suit decided today, VirnetX also filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Apple’s products, specifically the iPhone, iPad and Mac, violate the company’s wireless patents, reports AllThingsD. VirnetX previously won a $200 million settlement from Microsoft as a result of a separate lawsuit.

The complaint was first leveled against Apple in November 2011, with VirnetX claiming technology in use by Apple’s iPhone 4S infringed on the company’s patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,05,181 for a “Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of Virtual Private Network.” The patent was granted just days before the filing.

The lawyer for VirnetX said that Apple’s engineers didn’t bother to check if there were patents already covering the FaceTime video calling service when  they were building it: “Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.”

VirnetX had lodged a similar complaint with the ITC in August, which saw the commission siding with a trade judge’s ruling who terminated the case over questions about patent ownership.

The company had another filing in 2010, when it brought similar allegations against Apple, Cisco Systems, Astra Technologies, and NEC Corporation, with a claim of infringement of at least five patents.