Apple loses request for new trial in court battle over FaceTime, VPN On Demand infringement allegations

By Takesha Thomas | Sep 19, 2018

TYLER – A Texas court has denied tech giant Apple's request for a new trial in a case involving FaceTime and allegations of patent infringement.

The Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas denied a motion for a new trial as requested in July by Apple. The decision was rendered on Aug. 30 in a battle between Apple and VirnetX Inc. over four patents.

VirnetX accused Apple of infringing four patents and using them to create VPN On Demand and FaceTime. U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder ruled on the matter after a July motion. In his ruling, Schroeder granted VirnetX supplemental damages, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and sunset royalty at a rate of $1.20. The court did deny VirnetX's request payment for attorneys' fees and enhanced damages.

Apple has argued that it did not infringe the patents, instead arguing that on the third release of FaceTime in 2013, "although FaceTime clients could establish peer-to-peer connections after September 2013, this was the result of a client-side software change, not a server change, so Apple does not infringe," the Aug. 30 memorandum and order stated.

The matter has been back and forth in court for eight years now. In November 2012, "a jury found that the first versions of Apple’s accused VPN On Demand and FaceTime features infringed the asserted patents and that the asserted patents were not invalid," the ruling states.

At that time, VirnetX filed another suit accusing Apple of infringement of several redesigned products.

"The Federal Circuit vacated the infringement finding for FaceTime based upon a change in claim construction, holding that the term 'secure communication link' requires both 'security and anonymity,' and vacated damages for VPN On Demand and FaceTime because it found that the jury relied on a flawed damages model," the ruling states.

In July 2016, a new trial was granted on the request of Apple. In this trial, a jury found that FaceTime infringed on two of VirnetX's patents. VirnetX was awarded, "approximately $302 million in damages for the collective infringement by the VPN On Demand and FaceTime features in the accused Apple products," the opinion states.

In the April 2018 trial, "the jury returned a verdict finding both VPN on Demand and FaceTime to infringe each asserted patent," the ruling states. The jury awarded VirnetX $502,567,709 in damages in this matter. 

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