VirnetX (VHC 3.89%) continues to pile up courtroom wins against Apple (AAPL -0.22%). On Friday, a jury ordered the tech giant to pay $502.8 million for violating VinetX's patents for secure networks -- called virtual private networks (VPNs) -- and secure communications links in Apple's FaceTime videoconferencing app.
VirtnetX had sought $700 million in royalties, while Apple said it should pay no more than $113 million, or a royalty rate of $0.19 per unit. The jury, however, settled on $0.84 per unit.
Win after win
The jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has gone on for a decade and has covered several instances of patent infringement allegations. This case is different from one Apple lost on appeal in September that had it paying VirnetX $440 million.
While both deal with Apple's VPN on Demand feature for FaceTime, this case involved newer versions of FaceTime than the prior matter. The jury had to calculate a new rate of payment after Apple successfully appealed a prior infringement ruling that found the smartphone maker had redesigned the app enough to avoid infringing the patents.
Apple said, "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."
VirnetX says the patents arise from technology it developed for the CIA, but it has been derided by some as a patent troll. Nevertheless, it has successfully pursued litigation against some of the top tech stocks including Apple, Cisco and Microsoft to enforce its patents.