Apple ordered to pay VirnetX £230 million in US patent case

Apple has been ordered to pay £230 million ($368 million) in damages by a US court to software company VirnetX for infringing its patents, it has been revealed.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is being fined for infringing VirnetX's network patents which Apple integrated into its products like FaceTime, letting users of iPhones and other device chat to each other face-to-face in video calls. The firm originally asked for damages of £563 million ($900 million) but was awarded the lower sum by the jury after a five day trial.

"This victory further establishes the importance of our patent portfolio," VirnetX Chief Executive Officer Kendall Larsen said in a statement.

VirnetX has pursued a slew of lawsuits against tech companies after aggressively patenting technology that created virtual private networks (VPN) over the internet. In 2010, the company was awarded £66 million ($105 million) by Microsoft after winning another patent lawsuit.

Last month, the US International Trade Commission announced that its members voted to begin another investigation into Apple on behalf of VirnetX after it complained that the tech giant infringed on its patents that cover a secure connection between two computers over a network.

VirnetX is hoping to halt the importation of Apple products into the US, although it's more likely that the firms will reach a settlement or licensing deal instead.