Apple on Tuesday was told to pay an additional $502.6 million to patent firm VirnetX. The award is the latest development in what has become a ongoing legal battle over patents for technology used in Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features in Apple’s devices.
The dispute has bounced between the district court, patent office and Federal Circuit since 2010. There have been multiple trials, most recently one involving earlier versions of the Apple devices. A jury in that case awarded $302 million that a judge later increased to $439.7 million.
Kendall Larsen , CEO of VirnetX, said the damages, which were based on sales of more than 400 million Apple devices, were “fair.”
Tuesday’s jury award to VirnetX is separate from the $439.7 million award mentioned above. Tuesday’s award said to pertain to newer versions of Apple devices that use the revamped FaceTime protocol which debuted in iOS 7 and iOS 8.
The legal battle between the two companies was initiated in 2010 with a VirnetX lawsuit against Apple alleging Apple’s FaceTime connection technology infringed on patents held by VirnetX. The patent holding firm was originally awarded $368.2 million in damages in 2012. That case is still being appealed. October 2017 saw Apple being told to pay $439.7 million in damages as part of a final judgement of the original case. Apple has said it would appeal the decision.
VirnetX’s victories may fall by the wayside, as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has said the patents involved in the cases are invalid. There are separate cases involving the patents currently working their way through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. A final ruling there could ultimately impact the verdicts in the VirnetX/Apple court battle.