Apple has been ordered by a federal jury in east Texas to pay $625 million for patent infringement, Reuters reported late Wednesday. The jury found the iPhone maker guilty of using VirnetX’s security technology without its permission.
More specifically, Apple was found guilty of willfully infringing on technology found in VirnetX Holding Corp’s patents related to virtual private networking protocols, which Apple uses in its FaceTime and iMessage apps on iPhone and iPad.
Apple issued a statement vowing to appeal. “We are surprised and disappointed by the verdict,” the company said. “Cases like this simply reinforce the desperate need for patent reform.”
Also on Wednesday, Apple filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder to declare a mistrial, saying VirnetX’s attorneys had misled the jury during closing arguments. It is not known when Schroeder will rule on that request.
“The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX’s patented technology for years,” VirnetX lawyer Jason Cassady said in a statement.
VirnetX is a Nevada-based company that makes most of its money from licensing patents. While its $625 million victory over Apple is a substantial one, it really won’t put much of a dent in the Cupertino firm’s reported $216 billion cash hoard.