Menu
US court throws out $368.2 million patent award against Apple

US court throws out $368.2 million patent award against Apple

A lower court made mistakes in defining the value of the patented technology asserted by VirnetX, an appeals court says

A U.S. appeals court has thrown out a US$368.2 million award against Apple in a patent infringement case brought by patent-holding and software company VirnetX.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday declined to invalidate VirnetX's four Internet security-related patents, but ruled that Apple's VPN On Demand service did not infringe one of the Nevada firm's patents. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas also erred in defining the value of the patented technology related to secure communications links in two patents, and should reexamine whether Apple's FaceTime application infringes the two patents under a correct claim construction, the appeals court ruled.

The district court must also reconsider the jury's damages award based on the appeals court ruling, the higher court said.

"In calculating the royalty base, [the district court] did not even try to link demand for the accused device to the patented feature, and failed to apportion value between the patented features and the vast number of non-patented features contained in the accused products," Chief Judge Sharon Prost wrote for the appeals court.

VirnetX acquired the four VPN-related patents from SAIC in 2006. Two of the patents involve DNS and resolving domain names using secure communications links. The other two patents involve using DNS proxies to intercept Web traffic to determine whether a DNS request is for a secure site.

VirnetX, in a patent lawsuit filed in late 2012, accused Apple's iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 4th Generation, iPad mini and Mac computers running the Mountain Lion operating system of infringing the four patents.

VirnetX said it was disappointed with the appeals court's decision. "We are bolstered by the fact that the patents were again found valid and that it was confirmed that Apple's VPN on Demand functionality infringes the VirnetX patents," Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO and president, said in a statement. "We look forward to readdressing the FaceTime infringement and damages issues as soon as possible."

Apple representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comments on the appeals court decision.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityApplelegalintellectual propertypatentVirnetXU.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitU.S. District Court for the Eastern District of TexasKendall LarsenSharon Prost

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments