There seems to be no end to the legal war between Apple and VirnetX that started almost 10 years ago. However, some new details have emerged from the ‘VPN on Demand lawsuit. According to the latest information, Apple has been ordered to shell out about $502.8 million to VirnetX by a jury based in Tyler, Texas.
Coming to the VPN on Demand, well, this is a service offered to iOS users wherein people are given the privilege to set their devices in a manner such that a VPN connection can start or stop on its own, without any manual intervention. Bloomberg claims that the jury took almost about an hour and a half to arrive at a decision.
The entire court fiasco surrounding the ‘VPN on Demand’ lawsuit has been going on for many years. It all began when VirnetX blamed Apple for violating its intellectual possessions. A few years ago, in 2013, Apple had no choice but to change the VPN on Demand for iOS after a lawsuit was slapped on it by VirnetX. Not only this, VirnetX filed another case against Apple immediately against the latter’s FaceTime application.
According to the patent filing organization, Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand are classic examples of violation of its patents. The internet security software and technology company points out that the secure communications technology patent is violated in this case, as the same technology has played a key role in developing the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Initially, VirnetX had demanded before the court that Apple should pay about $700 million for infringing its patents. However, Apple claimed that it needs to pay a maximum of $113 million to VirnetX and nothing more than that. Interestingly, some months ago, Apple was asked by the court to shell out $450 million to VirnetX when the latter accused it of infringing its IP rights. These IPs were from the earlier versions of VirnetX.
Now, with this amount of $502.8 million being further slapped on the tech-giant, it only means that Apple would be required to pay this amount to VirnetX in addition to the fine of $450 million that was penalized earlier as mentioned above.
Most of the eastern Texas courts have always been passing judgments that favor companies involved in filing and licensing patents. Undoubtedly, it has been noticed that the courts always give a decision that seems to work for VirnetX. Apple has always filed an appeal in retaliation against the court’s judgment.
This time too, the tech giant seems to be adopting the same approach. It was stated by an Apple spokesperson who stated to Bloomberg, saying, “We thank the jury for their time and appreciate their consideration but are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal. This case has been going on for over a decade, with patents that are unrelated to the core operations of our products and have been found to be invalid by the patent office. Cases like this only serve to stifle innovation and harm consumers.”Source
Well, it does not seem like this battle between Apple and VirnetX would conclude anytime soon. Only time can tell about the same.