Apple involved in a patent lawsuit barely feels like news these days. While its war with Samsung has been a one-off case that has gizmo freaks across the world staring wide-eyed for updates that shouldn’t be missed, especially with Apple seeming to don a victory hat, a recent verdict against the company has made patent lawsuit followers sit up.
VirnetX, an intellectual property and patent holding firm, earned itself a favorable judgment last year when a federal jury found Apple had infringed on four of VirnetX’s patents on networking technology. The company stated that Apple’s FaceTime video-calling function, which is extremely popular among users of the iPhone 5, iPad and iPod mobiles, besides its iMac and MacBook PCs was infringing on its intellectual property. During a hearing, Doug Cawley, a lawyer from McKool Smith representing VirnetX, stated, “For years, Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents…
Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.” And Apple was asked to pay damages of $368.2 million back then.
On February 26th, 2013, a U.S. District Court upheld the federal jury’s decision and turned down Apple’s request for a new trial. The California-based consumer electronics producer was hit by a thunderbolt when the court ordered it to settle the issue amicably with VirnetX and pay the plaintiff about $330,000 every day, until the case is settled. The judge has given the parties 45 days to settle the royalties and other damages amicably, or be prepared for a ruling soon after. In fact, the judge stated that if the two parties failed to reach an agreement in 45 days, then the court would reconsider a motion by VirnetX that could prevent Apple from selling products that have the infringing technologies! Will Apple allow its products to go off the shelf or will it convince VirnetX to sober down – we shall have the answer in the next six weeks.
(Featured image source: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Court-Horizontal-Hammer-Right-Justice-Law-802302)