Apple has lost an 8-year case against a patent troll named VirnetX which successfully managed to convince a jury that the former should pay it $502.6 million. It claims the iPhone maker infringed on 4 of its patents.
VirnetX is what is known as a patent-assertion firm. It doesn’t actually innovate products on its own, instead generating profit from suing companies based on the patents it’s acquired. It decided to attack Apple all the way back in 2010, accusing the brand of violating 4 of its patents across FaceTime, certain iMessage features, and VPN on Demand.
Apple naturally denied these accusation, and it’s been an uphill battle ever since. The battle between the two has raged on for multiple trials, with one jury awarding VirnetX $302 million, only for a judge to later increase it to $439.7 million. The figure now stands at $502.6 million, based on sales of more than 400 million Apple products.
While VirnetX can enjoy its victory for now, the fun might not last forever. Bloomberg reports that The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has accused the patents of being invalid in cases which are currently being reviewed by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.
Apple may thus turn out to be victorious after all, finally putting an end to this 8-year-long drama. It has plenty of other cases to keep it busy though. It recently got hit with a lawsuit over the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor. Moreover, multiple countries and users are investigating and suing it over the iPhone slowdown controversy.