Patent trollin’: Apple could owe VirnetX $1.5 billion

Yikes! Shortly after finding Apple infringed VirnetX network security patents, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas on Wednesday found the infringement was willful, a decision that has the potential to put the iPhone maker on the hook for more than $1.5 billion in damages, according to Law360.

On April 11 the court ruled that that Apple. infringed four VirnetX network security patents and ordered the tech giant to pay $502.6 million in damages. In January 2014 VirnetX Holding Company, an Internet security software and technology company (and, by most considerations, a “patent troll”) filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to supplement its infringement contentions against Apple, the defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit. 

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The motion alleged that Apple products, including products containing the redesigned VPN On Demand and Per App VPN features implemented in Apple’s iOS, continue to infringe VirnetX’s patented inventions.

By the way, a patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.


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