Patent trollin’: Apple wants $502.8 million jury verdict for VirnetX reduced

Apple asked a Texas federal judge Thursday to reduce a US$502.8 million jury verdict for VirnetX in a network security patent case, reports Law360 (a subscription is required to read the entire article).

The tech giant argued that VirnetX introduced evidence at trial of other licensing agreements that didn’t involve comparable technology, causing the jury to award an inflated royalty price per device.

This is part of a years-long legal battle between the two companies. In January 2014 VirnetX Holding Company, an Internet security software and technology company (and, by most considerations, a “patent troll”) filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to supplement its infringement contentions against Apple, the defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit. 

The motion alleged that Apple products, including products containing the redesigned VPN On Demand and Per App VPN features implemented in Apple’s iOS, continue to infringe VirnetX’s patented inventions. In April 2018 an Eastern District of Texas jury decided that Apple. infringed four VirnetX network security patents and ordered the tech giant to pay $502.6 million in damages.

By the way, a patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.