Last November, a federal jury ordered Apple to pay patent holding firm VirnetX $368 million in a patent lawsuit. The court found the iPad-maker guilty of infringing on its networking patents with its FaceTime video chat feature.
Today, Judge Leonard Davis upheld the ruling, denying Apple’s request for a new trial. This means that it’s about to have to dole out one of the largest court-mandated settlements in its history to, what is essentially, a patent troll…
Seeking Alpha reports:
“The jury verdict was upheld for $368,160,000 in favor of VirnetX for infringing on its U.S. Patents which describe a method of transparently creating a virtual private network (“VPN”) between a client computer and a target computer. Other patents disclose a secure domain name service. Both products developed by VirnetX establishes secure communications.
Apple’s request for a new trial as a Matter Of Law under Rule 50(b) was denied.”
In addition to the settlement, Judge Davis made it clear that he wants both parties to work out a royalty deal through forced mediation. He’s given them 45 days to do it, and is forcing Apple to pay VirnetX $310,211 per day until it’s done.
Of course, Apple will appeal the ruling. But the fact that the judge is forcing a royalty deal all but kills its chances. Sure, $368 million is a drop in the bucket for the company, compared to its $140 billion cash pile. But this has still got to sting.
VirnetX first filed suit against Apple in November of 2011, claiming that its then-new iPhone 4S infringed on U.S. Patent No. 8,05,181 for a “Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of a Virtual Network.”