Apple loses $500m patent case over iMessage and FaceTime features

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

As a result, Apple has been ordered to pay damages to the tune of $502.6 million.

VirnetX is a patent-assertion entity, meaning its entire business model rests exclusively on suing companies that actually develop and sell products based on arcane patent infringement laws and loose interpretations of intellectual property regulations.

The eight-year-old (so far) legal battle between Apple and VirnetX has taken a new turn after a Texas federal court ordered the iPhone maker to pay $502.6 million to the company.

Apple has been found guilty of infringing four different VirnetX patents in the iMessage, FaceTime, and VPN solutions it offers on iPhones and iPads.

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Apple in its defense says that it has never wavered in its stance that it did nothing wrong despite having to go through a lot of bumps and hoops in court. It wasn't until last October that the court made a decision, awarding VirnetX with $439.7 million in damages. It seems the longer Apple fights the higher the cost.

The battle between VirnetX and Apple has been ongoing for years. Microsoft settled and paid the company a total of $223 million. However, there is one final ray of hope for Apple.

Apple has lost in caught to VirnetX once again. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington is now reviewing cases in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board claims the patents in question are in fact invalid.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled the patents invalid, which VirnetX is appealing.

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