Texas jury hits Apple with $328M patent infringement verdict

An East Texas jury recently hit Apple Inc. with a $368.2 million judgment in a patent infringement case.



VirnetX, a patent licensing company, successfully sued the computer giant in the Eastern District of Texas-Tyler Division alleging Apple infringed on four of its patents covering the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks.


On Nov. 4, the jury in U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis’s court found that Apple infringed the patents through the FaceTime technology it uses to allow Mac computer users to make video calls to an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.


VirnetX had originally sought $708 million from Apple, but received a little over half that amount in the verdict.


Doug Cawley, a McCool Smith attorney representing VirnetX, said he would likely seek a court order to stop Apple from using the patented technology, according to an article in Bloomberg.


Apple has maintained that FaceTime uses different technology than VirnetX’s and claims VirnetX’s patents are invalid.


Apple is represented in part by Danny Williams of Williams, Morgan and Amerson in Houston.


VirnetX won a huge award in 2010 over similar claims it made against Microsoft, which it sued in 2007 alleging Microsoft Office Communicator and Windows Meeting Space infringed its patents. A jury awarded VirnetX $106 million. Microsoft appealed, but later settled with VirnetX for $200 million.


It has cases pending against Cisco, Avaya and Siemens, which may go to trial in March, according to an article in Bloomberg.


Case No. 6:10-cv-417

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