Appeals court tosses out VirnetX’s $368 million victory over Apple


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tossed out a verdict today handed down by a Texas jury in late 2012 that would’ve forced Apple to pay $368 million to patent holding firm VirnetX. The jury determined that Apple’s FaceTime feature infringed on on the firm’s intellectual property.

The Wall Street Journal reports this afternoon that the appeals court has ruled that the verdict was “tainted” by erroneous jury instructions in the case and therefore is invalid. It also held that some trial testimony from a VirnetX IP “expert” should have been completely excluded from the case.

VirnetX Holding Corporation has a pretty impressive portfolio of patents related to wireless networking and LTE technology, and as you’d expect, it’s not afraid to wield it. The company has been very active in its pursuit of Apple and other major tech companies, in search of settlement money.

In addition to the aforementioned FaceTime lawsuit in 2012, VirnetX also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple in search of a sales ban on its infringing devices. In the fall of last year, the company filed a new lawsuit to include newer iOS and Mac devices.

After today’s ruling, the case gets sent back to trial for further proceeds. Shares of VirnetX dropped more than 40% following the news.

[The Wall Street Journal]