Apple loses FaceTime patent trial, told to pay $368M


Apple(s AAPL) has been ordered by a U.S. district court in Texas to pay $368.2 million to a VPN company for violating its patents while building FaceTime into Macs and iOS devices, according to Bloomberg. VirnetX(s VHC), based in Nevada, sued Apple earlier this year over four patents it owns related setting up VPNs with a domain-name service. It was seeking more than $700 million in damages.

The lawyer for VirnetX claimed that Apple’s engineers didn’t bother to look and see if there were any patents covering the video calling service as they were building it: “Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.”

Apple representatives argued that VirnetX didn’t invent the technology at issue and “if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.”

Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime for newly launched iPhone 4 in June 2010. The service came to the Mac later that year. VirnetX’s technology was originally developed within a division of U.S.’s Central Intelligence Agency for setting up secure communications. It was later spun off from the agency as a public company.

Apple’s not the only one accused of using these patented technologies without a license. VirnetX also has cases pending against Cisco(s CSCO), Avaya and Siemens(s SIE). It has already won a decision against Microsoft (s msft) for $200 million in 2010.



A patent is a patent. But when patent trolls become involved, it just gets ridiculous. Motorola is currently trying to get Apple to pay for FRAND patents…. Does Apple owe..??? there is a good chance.

BUT, motorola is not asking for its small share of lots of technology that went into 3G 4G but rather a good percentage for THE WHOLE THING…

Same thing here. A patent that only sort of fits and the “owners” want a huge cut of the WHOLE product.

Its a sad direction. If you don’t think so, imagine paying 100,000$ for a car. $12,000 for the parts and $ 82,000 for patents licenses for such things as audio play, light projection to illuminate, rotating steering devices, etc.


“Apple representatives argued that VirnetX didn’t invent the technology at issue and “if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.””
Really Apple?
What about bounce back/slide to unlock? Is it not a small part of very large, complex products?

Give me a break and pay your price for incentivizing this mess.

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