Apple has scored a win in its ongoing and extended patent infringement legal battle with VirnetX over a pair of patents that the firm used in its lawsuit against Apple. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court on Thursday handed a verdict that could ultimately save the Cupertino firm from having to pay VirnetX $502.8 million in patent infringement fees.
The appeals court affirmed a decision from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that invalidated the two patents VirnetX had accused Apple of infringing.
VirnetX and Apple will again battle in court over the initial appeals case that Apple filed to determine whether Apple will need to pay up, and it is possible that the $502.8 million verdict will be thrown out.
A jury in 2020 ruled that Apple owed VirnetX $502.8 million for patent infringement in an ongoing 10 years-long legal battle. The dispute, which started in 2010, began when VirnetX accused Apple of infringing its patents in the Cupertino firm’s FaceTime feature on iOS and macOS.
The jury in the case was asked to determine the royalties Apple owes VirnetX for the VPN on Deman feature that allows iPhone users to access virtual private networks.
Apple appealed the $502.8 million award verdict after it was rendered, with both Apple and VirnetX presenting arguments in the appeal back in September.
VirnetX is generally considered a patent holding company (also referred to as a “patent troll”) which are companies that do not offer any actual services or products, instead generating income by suing companies for infringement of patents that it owns. However, it should be noted that VirnetX does market a “War Room” software package for authenticated meetings.