VirnetX shares surge as jury says Apple infringed patents

VirnetX shares surge as jury says Apple infringed patents: report

A federal jury on Tuesday awarded Internet security company VirnetX hefty damages after Apple was found to have violated VirnetX patents related to secure communication in its FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN On Demand services.

A court in the USA ruled the Cupertino giant had infringed four patents for secure messaging in its iMessage, FaceTime and VPN on Demand apps belonging to technology firm VirnetX.

The legal battle started in 2010 and had bounced between courts and trials.

VirnetX is a patent-assertion entity, meaning its entire business model rests exclusively on suing companies that actually develop and sell products based on arcane patent infringement laws and loose interpretations of intellectual property regulations. It's small change for Apple, but an important win for VirnetX. Last we heard of the fight was in October 2017, when Apple was ordered to pay $439.7 million, a ruling the company then appealed.

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Reports claim that the legal battle between Apple includes many legal suits and a myriad number of appeals. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington is now reviewing cases in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board claims the patents in question are in fact invalid. Even so, there was still a major difference there, Apple and Samsung both use their patents in products that they make and sell, while VirtnetX focuses on court cases to bring in revenue.

"The evidence was clear", VirnetX chief Kendall Larsen said after the court's decision was announced.

Apple has lost in caught to VirnetX once again.

For those who don't know, VirnetX is essentially a patent-holding company. It doesn't seem certain the company will ever see that $502.6 million payout, though. As Bloomberg notes, however, the victory may be short-lived.

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