Apple gets to keep the cash in its wallet this time around as an Appeals Court has thrown out the jury ruling that ordered the tech giant to pay a whopping USD$368 million to a patent holding company known as VirnetX. Many would could consider VirnetX to be a patent troll due to the fact its only reason of existence is to enforce patents.
The United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has remanded the decision back to the lower federal court in East Texas. The four patents that were involved in the trial were revolving around FaceTime and VPN On Demand functions used in iPhones, MacBooks and iPads. Apple had tried its level best and spent a whole lot of cash trying to design these features around VirnetX’s patents but I guess that attempt failed. Even after the lawsuit trial began, Apple made some adjustments last year to the VPN On Demand to avoid any litigation due to infringement.
The Appeals Court reversed the finding of infringement on a claim involving the VPN on Demand patent but did not rule that the patent holding company’s patents were invalid. In a further explanation, the court stated that the previous lower court did not define a crucial term in the patents correctly, hence forcing it to revert the case back to where it came from.
In addition, the judges stated that VirnetX’s damages analyst, Roy Weinstein miscalculated the sum Apple gained from infringing upon the company’s patent. In a turn of event, the court actually sided with Apple when it came to the amount it was ordered to pay. According to the court, Apple was right in arguing that ‘the proper royalty base should have been excluded because it relied on the entire market value of Apple’s products without demonstrating that the patented features drove the demand for those products.”
Another factor was the fact the court wasn’t happy with the way the jury applied instructions by the court when calculating the damages.
Well, it seems the battle is long from over. Even as we speak, the Cupertino company is involved in another litigation mess with VirnetX over a dispute originating back in March. It revolves around the possibility of an ongoing royalty of 0.98 percent to the patent company on all iPhones and iPads sold in the America.
For the full judgement on the case, please click on the link below.