Kaylie Moise, November 7, 2012
Apple has been found guilty of infringing on patents with its FaceTime video calling feature and is now being forced to pay $368 million in damages to small company VirnetX. A federal jury ruled in favor of VirnetX, which accused Apple of infringing on four of its private network patents. The case also draws attention to Apple’s due-diligence process of checking over prior patents, or lack of it. VirnetX’s lawyer, Doug Cawley, said in the closing statement that, “Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.”
VirnetX’s patents cover the use of domain-name service to set up virtual private networks, through which a website owner can interact with customers in a secure way or an employee can work from home and have access to a company’s electronic files. VirnetX was looking for $708 million in damages. Cawley also said that “for years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents. Apple says they don’t infringe.”
Apple denied infringing on any patents, and its lawyers argued that FaceTime uses a different system. Lawyer Danny Williams said in his closing argument that, “VirnetX is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The VirnetX technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.”
Previously, VirnetX received $100 million from Microsoft for patent infringement in 2010.
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