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Apple Ordered to Pay $368 M in FaceTime Patent Suit Loss

By - Source: BBC | B 30 comments

Court loss may lead to more bans for some of its most popular devices.

A U.S. judge has ordered Apple to pay over $368 million to a company related to a FaceTime patent dispute.

Connecticut-based VirnetX said the FaceTime feature found in several Apple devices infringes on patents owned by the company. VirnetX had originally sought for $708 million in damages, but, pending an appeal from Apple, will have to settle for the amount awarded by the judge.

VirnetX operates as an internet security software and technology firm that has been granted patented technology for 4G LTE security. The court case is related to allegations that the FaceTime application violates four VirnetX patents registered between 2002 and 2011.

Although Apple won't be hurt too much with the fine, VirnetX's court case win could back up a claim filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that may potentially lead to a sales ban of Apple's more popular products.

The company said Apple should have paid license fees for its technologies, which consists of a method of creating a secure communication link between different types of system via Tunneled Agile Routing Protocol (TARP).

Speaking after the verdict, VirnetX CEO Kendal Larsen said the firm's win "further establishes the importance of our patent portfolio." A lawyer for the company added that it would file an order seeking to block "further use of its inventions."

VirnetX has also won a similar patent lawsuit against Microsoft, resulting in a payment of $200 million in 2010. It has also taken Cisco, Siemens and other technology firms to court over its patents.

 

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  • 24 Hide
    Rosanjin , November 8, 2012 6:38 PM
    I usually groan whenever I see a patent lawsuit headline, due to the rampant patent-trolling and flagrant displays of the "monopolization by litigation" attitude.

    That said, I think this is one of the increasingly rare cases where the system is doing its job correctly. Good for VirnetX, since it seems they were truly victimized by several big boy companies who thought they would get away with it unscathed.
  • 19 Hide
    g00fysmiley , November 8, 2012 6:28 PM
    as much as i like to see apple get patent trolled like they do to everybody else... some of these companies that exist like rambus just to patent ideas and make royalties are bad for the consumer in the end as they pay for it... i don't knwo enough about vernetX to say if they are that kind of company but tha tthey also have a large suit won from m$ and m$ didn't just buy them out makes me suspect that they are
  • 15 Hide
    jake2447 , November 8, 2012 7:25 PM
    LOL Apple sucks
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    g00fysmiley , November 8, 2012 6:28 PM
    as much as i like to see apple get patent trolled like they do to everybody else... some of these companies that exist like rambus just to patent ideas and make royalties are bad for the consumer in the end as they pay for it... i don't knwo enough about vernetX to say if they are that kind of company but tha tthey also have a large suit won from m$ and m$ didn't just buy them out makes me suspect that they are
  • 13 Hide
    julianbautista87 , November 8, 2012 6:28 PM
    LOL.
  • -5 Hide
    ohim , November 8, 2012 6:35 PM
    Patents ... making lazy bastards rich bastards ... even though i hate Apple to the bone ... is not fair that some random ass company that holds a patent to something and does nothing with the ideea to get rich on the back of other companies that actually do something with those ideeas.
  • 24 Hide
    Rosanjin , November 8, 2012 6:38 PM
    I usually groan whenever I see a patent lawsuit headline, due to the rampant patent-trolling and flagrant displays of the "monopolization by litigation" attitude.

    That said, I think this is one of the increasingly rare cases where the system is doing its job correctly. Good for VirnetX, since it seems they were truly victimized by several big boy companies who thought they would get away with it unscathed.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , November 8, 2012 6:41 PM
    What goes around...
  • 12 Hide
    razor512 , November 8, 2012 6:47 PM
    why cant they do a patent clensing where every patent currently on record is looked at and if the patent holder has had the patent for longer than 5 years and has no product being sold or produced that uses the patent, then the patent becomes blacklisted and anyone can use the idea and no one can ever patent it again.


    additional details
    Imagine this, if you file a patent, you have 1 year to show product (eg a prototype) that implements the patent, then after that, you have 5 years to to produce a final product or at least have a beta unit with plans finalized to bring the product to market.
    Those rules can then be retroactively applied to all patents and patents that do not fit in the rules are blacklisted.

    This will mostly get rid of patent trolls and also put more on the line for companies that simply want to pstent something that is done now but with a future technology so that the moment someone else makes the actual product, they can sue them.
  • -6 Hide
    castle songbird , November 8, 2012 6:59 PM
    RosanjinI usually groan whenever I see a patent lawsuit headline, due to the rampant patent-trolling and flagrant displays of the "monopolization by litigation" attitude.That said, I think this is one of the increasingly rare cases where the system is doing its job correctly. Good for VirnetX, since it seems they were truly victimized by several big boy companies who thought they would get away with it unscathed.



    You know nothing about the specifics of how much of an accomplishment developing the technology in question was. Whether it was a unique approach that the programmers at apple would never have thought of or been able to develop otherwise or just the next logical step in network unification and it never should of been patented in the first place is not clear from the article. Your making assumptions.
  • 8 Hide
    COLGeek , November 8, 2012 7:07 PM
    Profits through litigation. The business model of the 21st century. Sad.
  • 13 Hide
    bllue , November 8, 2012 7:13 PM
    All patent trolls should fight against king patent troll, Apple.
  • 14 Hide
    spookyman , November 8, 2012 7:13 PM
    g00fysmileyas much as i like to see apple get patent trolled like they do to everybody else... some of these companies that exist like rambus just to patent ideas and make royalties are bad for the consumer in the end as they pay for it... i don't knwo enough about vernetX to say if they are that kind of company but tha tthey also have a large suit won from m$ and m$ didn't just buy them out makes me suspect that they are


    Why because they want to get paid for their patented idea? Apple would have sued them if they stole one of their ideas.
  • 15 Hide
    jake2447 , November 8, 2012 7:25 PM
    LOL Apple sucks
  • 14 Hide
    Rosanjin , November 8, 2012 7:37 PM
    castle songbirdYou know nothing about the specifics of how much of an accomplishment developing the technology in question was. Whether it was a unique approach that the programmers at apple would never have thought of or been able to develop otherwise or just the next logical step in network unification and it never should of been patented in the first place is not clear from the article. Your making assumptions.


    Interesting. Did you just make an assumption about my personal knowledge of the various VirnetX litigations - and then berate me for making an assumption? You might want to rethink that.

    Helpful tip: Learn the difference between "your" and "you're".

    Have a nice day. ^ ^
  • 3 Hide
    dark_wizzie , November 8, 2012 8:07 PM
    It's not fair that people make patents and get paid tons? If it's that simple, why don't YOU patent some stuff? You can be the rich guy.
  • 13 Hide
    webbwbb , November 8, 2012 8:08 PM
    Razor512why cant they do a patent clensing where every patent currently on record is looked at and if the patent holder has had the patent for longer than 5 years and has no product being sold or produced that uses the patent, then the patent becomes blacklisted and anyone can use the idea and no one can ever patent it again.additional detailsImagine this, if you file a patent, you have 1 year to show product (eg a prototype) that implements the patent, then after that, you have 5 years to to produce a final product or at least have a beta unit with plans finalized to bring the product to market. Those rules can then be retroactively applied to all patents and patents that do not fit in the rules are blacklisted.This will mostly get rid of patent trolls and also put more on the line for companies that simply want to pstent something that is done now but with a future technology so that the moment someone else makes the actual product, they can sue them.


    The issue with this idea is that there are legitimate companies that only do R&D but never produce anything, ARM is a prime example. They do not produce anything and don't even contract their work to other companies, instead they do research and license that work to others. While there is certainly a problem with the current patent system, any alternative plan will be difficult to work out without severely impacting legitimate, non-abusing businesses and individuals.
  • -4 Hide
    jaber2 , November 8, 2012 8:11 PM
    I have nothing to contribute, this is yet another patent law suite result.
  • 6 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 8, 2012 8:23 PM
    webbwbbThe issue with this idea is that there are legitimate companies that only do R&D but never produce anything, ARM is a prime example. They do not produce anything and don't even contract their work to other companies, instead they do research and license that work to others. While there is certainly a problem with the current patent system, any alternative plan will be difficult to work out without severely impacting legitimate, non-abusing businesses and individuals.


    Exactly +1, people don't understand that there is no simple fix for the patent system. Many seem to think some far sweeping law would solve everything and that is simply not the case.
  • 8 Hide
    house70 , November 8, 2012 9:26 PM
    Old news. Read about this the other day. Probably took Zak a while to wipe the tears off his cheeks.

    Seriously though, this could have been avoided if Apple had bought the license from them. Given that Apple doesn't like to pay fair share for other's licenses (see Motorola case), it doesn't surprise me a bit.
  • 1 Hide
    bigdog44 , November 8, 2012 9:56 PM
    Those poor factory workers are gonna take the brunt of all this...
  • 1 Hide
    goodegg , November 8, 2012 11:59 PM
    *plink*

    That's the sound of the drop in the bucket that will be that check.
  • 3 Hide
    Darkk , November 9, 2012 12:08 AM
    Another bad Apple?
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