Apple wants Federal Circuit to undo a $439 million patent judgement

Apple has asked the whole Federal Circuit to rehear a panel decision upholding a $439 million Eastern District of Texas jury verdict that the tech giant infringed VirnetX's network security patents, arguing it flouts a damages precedent, reports Law360.

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In January 2014, VirnetX, considered by many (including me) to be 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. And in May 2016 the company asked a Texas court to order Apple to stop providing its FaceTime and Messages features to customers, following the patent troll’s early court victory regarding patent infringement.

The motion alleged that Apple products, including products containing the redesigned VPN On Demand and Per App VPN features implemented in Apple’s iOS 7, continue to infringe VirnetX’s patented inventions. However, in September 2014, a federal appeals court tossed out a $368 million jury award for patent infringement that VirnetX Holding won against Apple in 2012.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized Washington-based court that handles patent appeals, ruled the verdict was "tainted" by erroneous jury instructions in the case. This sent the case back to a trial court. And in April 2018 that court ruled that that Apple. infringed four VirnetX network security patents and ordered the tech giant to pay $439 million in damages.