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Apple denied appeal in patent infringement case

(Image credit: Future)

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal made by Apple as it seeks a way out of having to pay $440 million in a decade-long patent infringement case.

The iPhone maker has been accused of infringing patents around internet security technology belonging to Nevada-based technology licensing company VirnetX.

Apple was sued by VirnetX to collect royalties for infringing four patents around secure communications technology which were used in FaceTime and VPN programs found in iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. 

Patents

In 2016, a Federal Court found that Apple had infringed the patents and awarded a sum of $302 million to VirnetX. This amount was later increased to $439.7 million which included interest and other charges. Last year a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington also upheld the same judgement.

In its argument, Apple stated that the penalty was grossly inaccurate and also suggested that the case to be closed since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had earlier ruled that one of the patents was invalid. 

Apple had earlier questioned the patent-ability of the technology on all the four VirnetX patents. It stated that the patents specific to FaceTime has been nearly wiped out. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board adjudged that three other patents remain in the appeal process while one of the four was found invalid.

Now after the Supreme Court’s judgement, the case will now be sent to the Texas district court to enforce the penalties. 

In a similar case, Apple is fined $503 million for infringing the same patents for Apple’s newer products. Though an Appeals court did order a recalculation of the penalty, the claimant VirnetX doesn’t expect this amount to be any lesser.

Shares of VirnetX, which has less than $2 in million annual revenue, jumped by 18% after the news.

Via: Reuters