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.