Apple Pays VirnetX $454 Million for Patent Infringement After U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Apple’s Appeal

Apple has paid VirnetX a total of $454,033,859.87 following the conclusion of a long-running patent infringement battle, VirnetX announced today.


The patent dispute between VirnetX and Apple dates back to 2010 when VirnetX accused Apple's FaceTime feature of infringing on its intellectual property, and there are multiple lawsuits involved.

In this particular case, Apple was ordered to pay $302 million in October 2016, but with interest and other costs included, the judgement was increased to $440 million. Though Apple appealed the $440 million award many times, courts have continually ruled in VirnetX's favor.

Most recently, Apple attempted to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal, but the Supreme Court in February 2020 declined to intervene.

Apple claimed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of many of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation, leaving Apple responsible for the $440 million payment.

This is just one of two VirnetX cases that Apple has been fighting. In the second case, VirnetX was awarded $502 million, but the ruling was partially overturned last year and sent back to the lower courts to determine new damages. Apple in February attempted to get a rehearing to determine patent validity, but was denied.
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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Apple’s Appeal in $440 Million VirnetX Patent Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Apple's appeal of a $440 million judgment in one of the patent infringement cases brought by VirnetX a decade ago, reports Reuters.


VirnetX was originally awarded $302 million back in October 2016 in the dispute over VPN-related patents, but Apple appealed the ruling multiple times, and with interest and other costs tacked on, the judgment was later increased to $440 million.

Apple argued on appeal that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of several of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation. Apple continued to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court, but the court has opted not to intervene, leaving Apple on the hook for the $440 million judgment.

The case is one of two Apple has been embroiled in with VirnetX over the years. In the other case, VirnetX was initially awarded $502 million but the infringement ruling was partially overturned late last year and the case was sent back a lower court to determine a new amount for damages. Apple attempted to contest the validity of the remaining two patents at issue, but just two weeks ago, the court denied a rehearing on that aspect of the case.


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Apple Won’t Get Rehearing in VirnetX Patent Infringement Battle Dating Back to 2010, Court Rules

Apple will not be able to get a rehearing in its ongoing patent battle with VirnetX to argue that the patents it is accused of infringing are invalid, reports Bloomberg.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today rejected Apple's request to reconsider a November ruling that confirmed Apple infringed on two VirnetX patents.


The patent dispute between VirnetX and Apple dates back to 2010 when VirnetX accused Apple's FaceTime feature of infringing on its intellectual property, and there are multiple lawsuits involved.

In this particular case, VirnetX was awarded $502.6 million in April 2018 after a court ruled that Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features infringed on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

An appeals court later reexamined the ruling and determined that Apple had infringed on two VirnetX patents, but the other two counts were reversed in November 2019 and the $502.6 million award was vacated. The case was sent back to a lower court to determine whether revised damages can be calculated or if there will be a new damages trial, but the ruling was ultimately in favor of VirnetX.

At this time, with Apple's request for a rehearing on patent validity denied, Apple and VirnetX are awaiting details on the new damages Apple will be required to pay.

In a separate case, Apple was ordered to pay $440 million to VirnetX for similar patent infringement issues. Apple appealed that ruling multiple times as well, but an appeals court in January 2019 ruled in VirnetX's favor, leaving Apple responsible for a $440 million patent infringement fee.


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Apple Ordered to Pay $85 Million in Royalties to WiLan in Patent Infringement Case

Apple must pay $85 million in royalties to Canadian patent holding company WiLan for infringing patents related to wireless communications, a jury in San Diego has ruled (via Bloomberg).


The two patents relate to making phone calls while simultaneously downloading data. In August 2018, a different jury said Apple infringed the patents and awarded WiLan $145 million, but a retrial was ordered to reconsider the damages.

At the January 2019 retrial, the court agreed that Apple had infringed on the patents. However, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw accepted Apple's argument that the method WiLan had used to calculate the appropriate royalty rate was flawed.

Sabraw urged the Quarterhill company to accept reduced damages of $10 million or prepare for another trial to figure out how much Apple needed to pay. WiLan chose another trial.

WiLan came to the latest royalty figure of $85 million based on iPhone sales. Apple unsuccessfully argued in court papers that the Ottawa-based holding company hadn't provided enough evidence to help the jury determine it was entitled to anything.

WiLan describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world." Apple's legal dispute with WiLan started back in 2010, when WiLan claimed Apple violated one of its Bluetooth related products.


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Corephotonics Sues Apple Again Over Dual-Lens Cameras in iPhone 7 Plus and Later [Updated]

Update: Corephotonics has filed an additional lawsuit against Apple in August 2019, alleging that the dual-lens camera systems in the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max infringe on 10 of its patents.

Original story from November 2017 follows.



Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones, has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week alleging that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringe upon four of its patents.


The patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, relate to dual-lens camera technologies appropriate for smartphones, including optical zoom and a mini telephoto lens assembly.

U.S. Patent No. 9,402,032
U.S. Patent No. 9,568,712
U.S. Patent No. 9,185,291
U.S. Patent No. 9,538,152

Corephotonics alleges that the two iPhone models copy its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method, and a method for intelligently fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to improve image quality.

iPhone X isn't listed as an infringing product, despite having a dual-lens camera, perhaps because the device launched just four days ago.

Corephotonics showed off some of its technologies at Mobile World Congress last year. In particular, it demonstrated software capable of combining the images of two separate camera lenses to create a more detailed picture, including the ability to optically zoom up to 5x with no moving parts.


Corephotonics, founded in 2012, describes itself as a pioneer in the development of dual camera technologies for mobile devices. The company's founders, led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, have decades of experience in the fields of optics and miniature digital cameras.

In its complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by MacRumors, Corephotonics said one of its first acts as a company was to contact Apple. Despite receiving "many encouraging reports" and "positive feedback" from the iPhone maker, the companies never reached a license of any kind.
As one of its first acts as a company, Corephotonics reached out to Apple in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership. Corephotonics received many encouraging reports and positive feedback from Apple about its technology, but the parties never concluded a license to the Corephotonics technology.
Corephotonics said Apple proceeded to release the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera in September 2016, and has been willfully infringing upon its patents since that time. Corephotonics says Apple has knowledge of its patents, one of which the iPhone maker allegedly submitted as prior art in a patent application.

Corephotonics even claims Apple's "lead negotiator" said it "would take years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might owe anything.
In fact, after one failed effort to negotiate a license, Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.
It's worth noting that Apple acquired another Israeli camera company, LinX Imaging, back in 2015. LinX also specialized in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices, and Apple presumably incorporated some of its technologies into the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus cameras.

Corephotonics is seeking damages of an amount to be proven in a jury trial, plus permanent injunctive relief. The complaint was filed with a U.S. District Court in Northern California, where Apple is headquartered.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

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Jury Rules in Favor of Qualcomm, Says Apple Infringed on Three Qualcomm Patents [Updated]

Apple and Qualcomm this week wrapped up a patent trial where Apple was accused of infringing on three of Qualcomm's patents, and the verdict from the jury is in -- Apple violated Qualcomm's patents in its iPhones.

According to CNET, the jury today sided with Qualcomm and said that Apple needs to pay Qualcomm upwards of $31 million, which is the total that Qualcomm had asked for in damages.


The patents in question cover a method for allowing a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once turned on, graphics processing and battery life, and a method for allowing apps to download data more easily by directing traffic between the processor and modem.

During the trial, Apple argued that one of its engineers, Arjuna Siva, had a hand in inventing the technology included in the first patent mentioned above in an attempt to get the patent invalidated, but the jury did not buy Apple's argument.

Apple will undoubtedly appeal the jury's ruling, and the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple is far from over. Next month, the two companies will be back in court over a lawsuit that Apple levied against Qualcomm after Qualcomm refused to pay $1 billion in rebate payments.

Yesterday, a preliminary ruling went in Apple's favor, with a U.S. District Judge deciding that Qualcomm is obligated to make the rebate payments to Apple under the terms of the cooperation agreement between the two companies.

Update: In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said that Qualcomm is trying to distract from "larger issues" with patent infringement claims: "Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in US federal court, and around the world."



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Qualcomm Wants Apple to Pay $31 Million in Damages in Patent Battle

Qualcomm today told a San Diego jury that it wants Apple to pay $31 million in damages for patent infringement violations, which is allegedly equivalent to $1.40 per infringing iPhone.

The new information comes from CNET, which has been covering the Qualcomm vs. Apple patent trial that's in court this week.


$1.40 per iPhone and a total of $31 million in damages suggests that Qualcomm believes only 22 million iPhones are infringing on its technology. Qualcomm came up with that total with the help of economist Patrick Kennedy, who took the stand as an expert witness for Qualcomm today. Kennedy calculated the figure based on iPhones sold from July 2017 on that used chips by Intel. Apple started using a mix of chips from both Intel and Qualcomm in the iPhone 7, and later transitioned to all Intel chips due to the legal troubles with Qualcomm.

Qualcomm and Apple are fighting over three patents that Qualcomm says Apple infringed on with its iPhones. As CNET describes, one of the patents covers a method for allowing a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once turned on, while another covers graphics processing and battery life. The third patent Apple is accused of violating allows apps to download data more easily by directing traffic between the apps processor and modem.

Apple just last quarter earned more than $20 billion in profit, so $31 million in damages wouldn't be a hit to the company's bottom line. If Qualcomm wins the trial, though, its claim that its technology is at the "heart of every iPhone" would be more credible.

Apple and Qualcomm have been fighting since January 2017, when Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in unpaid royalty fees. Qualcomm countersued, and since then, the two companies have levied multiple lawsuits against one another. Two of Qualcomm's lawsuits have resulted in import bans in Germany and China, both of which Apple was able to skirt with hardware and software updates.

The current patent trial between Apple and Qualcomm will last through next week.


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Apple Settles Lawsuit With Biometric Sensor Company Valencell That Accused it of Stealing Technology for Apple Watch

Biometric sensor company Valencell has reportedly settled a three-year-old lawsuit against Apple that accused the tech giant of stealing its technology for Apple Watch.


Valencell filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Apple back in January 2016 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The lawsuit accused the Cupertino-based company of infringing on four of its patents, all related to heart rate sensing technology, as well as deceptive trade practices and breach of contract, following dealings Apple had with Valencell before the launch of the Apple Watch.

However, citing a Valencell source, well-connected endurance tech blog the5krunner reports that "Valencell's case against Apple has now been settled and neither is able to further comment."

Valencell originally claimed Apple solicited technical information and know-how under the false pretense of a licensing agreement for its PerformTek technology, despite having no real intention of actually licensing it.

The biometric company also accused Apple of deciding it was more financially beneficial to risk infringing on Valencell's patents than to license them, claiming that the practice was "consistent with the statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple has 'always been shameless about stealing great ideas.'"

Valencell had requested a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing future acts of infringement, as well as damages and an ongoing royalty rate for licensing purposes should a permanent injunction not be granted.

Valencell provides the optical heart rate monitoring and other biometric sensors in many third party devices. The company filed a similar lawsuit against Fitbit in January 2016, but that case is said to be still ongoing.

(Thanks, Neil!)

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple Must Pay VirnetX $440 Million for Patent Infringement, Appeals Court Rules

Apple must pay VirnetX $440 million after an appeals court upheld an earlier judgement in favor of the patent holding company, reports Reuters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today denied Apple's appeal of a 2016 verdict that awarded VirnetX $302 million, which increased to $439.7 million when taking into account damages and interest calculated during retrials.


VirnetX first sued Apple in 2010, accusing FaceTime of infringing on patents held by VirnetX. The two companies have been fighting in court since then, and Apple in 2017 said it would appeal the final $440 million judgement.

In a separate case that is also still unsettled, VirnetX was awarded an additional $502.6 million from Apple after a court found that Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features infringe on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

Apple in total owes VirnetX $942 million, but is likely to continue to fight both rulings, as the patents in question have been ruled invalid by a separate court. Apple said it is disappointed with the ruling and will once again appeal.


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Judge Cuts Patent Licensing Company WiLan’s $145.1M Award From Apple to $10M

Back in August, a California jury awarded Canadian patent holding company WiLan $145.1 million in an ongoing dispute with Apple after the iPhone was found to have infringed on two WiLan patents related to wireless communications technology.

Apple won't be paying WiLan $145.1 million, though, as the court recently decided that WiLAN must accept reduced damages of $10 million or prepare for a new trial to figure out how much Apple needs to pay.


The court did agree, however, that Apple infringed on the two patents, so the company will need to pay WiLan some amount in damages.

WiLan and Apple have been ordered to enter into discussions to attempt to find a resolution, and WiLan says that it remains open to a "fair and reasonable" settlement with Apple.

WiLan describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world." Apple's legal dispute with WiLan started back in 2010, when WiLan claimed Apple violated one of its Bluetooth related products.


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