Apple Ordered to Pay $502 Million in VirnetX Patent Battle Loss

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

It now looks as though Apple may end up paying more than double that for the legal action to end. The company is what's known within the industry as a 'patent troll'.

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. It produces no products and doesn't put its patents to use, instead it hordes them so that they can be used in lawsuits later down the line. Last we heard of the fight was in October 2017, when Apple was ordered to pay $439.7 million, a ruling the company then appealed.

A federal jury rules that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has to pay VirnetX (NYSEMKT:VHC) $502.6M due to patent infringement.

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If this feels familiar, it's because we've been here before, and Apple isn't VirnetX's only target.

VirnetX's stock skyrocketed by 44 percent on Tuesday after the jury concluded Apple was violating its patents.

The case is now being reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which will determine whether or not VirnetX's patents are actually invalid. The case isn't dead yet though, the United States legal system has plenty of room for additional appeals and Apple is exploring those options already. No final decision has been made on this matter, though, and therefore the Federal Circuit refused to delay Apple's case.

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