“Third time's the charm”, VirnetX is probably now thinking, as an American court has, for the third time, ruled that Apple has infringed the company’s patents. Reuters just reported that a federal judge in Tyler, Texas ruled on Sunday that Apple must pay, this time $302.4 million (£235.10m), for infringing VirnetX’s patents in services like FaceTime and iMessage.
This is the third time a court ruled Apple must pay VirnetX in this case. First, back in 2010, the company was awarded $368.2 (£286.25m), but the ruling was partially overturned because it wasn’t exactly clear how the jury calculated the damages. Then, for the second time, the court ruled Apple should pay earlier this year, and that time, the figure was set at $625.6 million (£486.37), but that ruling, too, was voided, because the "repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple".
The report also says there will be an additional hearing to see if Apple infringed these patents on purpose. Depending on what the company says, the fine could be changed, again.
V3 calls VirnetX a ‘patent troll’, and adds that Apple is not the only company to be gunned down. Microsoft paid $200 million, back in 2010, to obtain a licence for two patents related to internet communications. VirnetX is a company that makes most of its money by licensing patented technology that creates VPNs over the internet.
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