Jury orders Apple to pay $625M to VirnetX in patent case

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was ordered to pay more than $625 million to VirnetX Holding Corp. after an East Texas jury ruled the iPhone maker had infringed on four patents.

But Apple said it will appeal, likely to forestall potential future patent lawsuits. Apple also requested a mistrial, claiming VirnetX's attorneys misled the jury during closing arguments.

A federal jury in Tyler, Texas, found Apple willfully infringed on VirnetX's Internet security technology without permission for features in its FaceTime and iMessage applications. The jury decided in VirnetX's favor in every patent claim at issue, and the award was actually more than the $532 million VirnetX had originally asked for.

VirnetX is often derided as a patent troll that offers no products and generates most of its revenues through patent litigation. It was awarded $368 million in a patent case against Apple in 2012 that included VirnetX's VPN technology, but that ruling was overturned on appeal. The recent case stems in part from the 2012 case.

Apple has more than $200 billion in cash as of its most recent earnings report and could easily pay the damages. 

VirnetX scored a $200 million settlement from Microsoft in 2010 over the VPN technology. VirnetX also sued Cisco but lost when a jury decided in Cisco's favor.

"The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX's patented technology for years," a VirnetX attorney said in prepared remarks.

For more:
- see this verdict form
- read this VirnetX press release
- read this Reuters report

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