back to article Apple files yet another appeal against $503m FaceTime patent payout

Apple has filed its fifth appeal against a half-billion award, claiming that it redesigned its FaceTime system to avoid infringing VirnetX's network security patents. The filing is particularly timely given the fact that on Monday Apple blocked group Facetime chats globally after a bonkers bug was revealed that let miscreants …

  1. Bush_rat
    Megaphone

    I'm no Lawyer...

    But if Apple had to change parts of FaceTime to ensure it was not violating the patent, it certainly would seem they violated the patent.

    Also, appeals should work on a Double or Nuthin' system to prevent this endless abuse of the legal system.

    Megaphone because the latest FaceTime bug turned nearly every Apple device into one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm no Lawyer...

      I agree, if the damages were automatically doubled every time a corporation appealed and lost;

      a/ these cases wouldnt drag on for years

      b/ the courts would have time for "normal" legal issues; like finding trump guilty of treason and frying the moron; small "t", because he doesnt deserve a capital.

      c/ Apple and similar serial patent abusers would go bust.

      1. DerekCurrie

        Re: I'm no Lawyer...

        That's "the trump" to you!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm no Lawyer...

        I don’t know how the US legal system works, but wouldn’t it be a lot more interesting to have the “losing” party have to cough up legal fees for the “winning” party ? Especially in cases where the strategy seems to be “let’s drag this on until they go bankrupt”.

        On topic : I had a quick look at the patents, and at the website of VirtnetX. What do they actually sell ?

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    New iPhone coming soon ... a bargin at $1500

    I'd always wondered but now at least now we all know why Apple products are so expensive, they have to pay off both the lawsuits and the lawyers ... expect an iPhone price increase soon to cover the latest round of "development" costs.

    1. DCFusor

      Re: New iPhone coming soon ... a bargin at $1500

      They usually either steal or avoid, even if it makes things inferior. Remember the infamous "you're holding it wrong"? That's because rather than use a cheap-royalty existing antenna design that didn't have that problem and paying a few cents per device, they thought they'd roll their own and failed to get it right. There were several choices on the market for pennies per device that were known to work fine.

      Of course, right after that, they put out requests to hire a competent RF/antenna engineer.

      Speaking of hubris - they didn't already have one but thought they could keep those immoral margin levels no one else has, despite the lawyers and so on.

      It's not just the lawyers, it's a corporate culture disease. NIH taken to the limit.

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy the company, instead of paying all those lawyers ?

    1. VikiAi
      Trollface

      New advertising slogan:

      "They sued us so much, we bought the company."

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      There's a school of thought that that's why SCO the litigation company* kept trying to sue IBM.

      As opposed to its previous incarnation, SCO the vendor of a rather good Unix implementation for small servers.

  4. IceC0ld

    by now obligatory TITSUP addon

    T - heir

    I - ncredibly

    T - enacious

    S - ue

    U - s

    P - olicy

    but again, it's really only the lawyers who win, even if theie client borks it, they still hand in the bill, I really wish I had been so boring at school that law looked feckin interesting :oP

  5. gnasher729 Silver badge

    474 pages

    474 pages of documentation?

    If I was ordered to pay about $500 million dollars, then obviously I would write 474 pages of documentation. Less than one page per million dollar. Are you seriously complaining about that?

    1. DCFusor

      Re: 474 pages

      My now-ex made up more than that for divorce court. Fortunately, it was in her handwriting which no one can read, so was thrown out (along with her for tossing a tantrum in contempt of court).

      Don't forget that we are paying the judge to read all that crap. As well as, eventually, subsidizing all the lawyers to write and read it. They bill, the company involved charges a little more for product to maintain margin...we humans are *always* the losers in these.

  6. The C Man

    What's deductible?

    As far as Apple is concerned part of the cost of fighting these cases is tax deductible. Pay the $500 million and it costs Apple $500 Million. Lawyers are a tax deductible expense and any deductible expense is good for Apple.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What's deductible?

      Lawyers are a tax deductible expense

      If anyone is wondering what is wrong with the American legal system - this is a good place to start...

  7. gordonsj

    Reminds me of Apple's maneuvering over the eBook conspiracy case. They lost that one too. Shameful behavior.

  8. StargateSg7

    OMG !!!! Congratulations to VirnetX for writing a patent I can ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND !!!

    Heck yeah that Apple infringes on this! These patents describe a simple (but effective!) means to obscure domain names from external packet sniffing and interception software in such a manner that destination and originating domain names are changed to have their top-level domain monikers (i.e. x.com changes over to y.coms which is similar but not the same as the original domain name) this FORCES much internet software to IGNORE those originating and destination addresses and allow an intercept (i.e. Facetime or other LOCAL MACHINE software) to become a Virtual DNS Server which translates the FAKE DNS names to the real ones and THEN communicates over the internet with the "REAL" destination and source using "fake" packets that MAY or NOT may have real-data in them. That data between the Virtual DNS server and client machines using normal Port 8080 or Port 80 is encrypted using a custom encryption algorithm.

    While SIMILAR to DNS-over-HTTP, it's NOT the same because the top-level and other domains have their REAL names changed over to similar-but-fake-DNS-names which get ignored by most Internet routing software. It's a form of Security-through-Obscurity with some actual packet encryption thrown in.

    One the Virtual DNS processes and gets the REAL DNS names from the fake ones, THEN it can internally do an internal fake-DNS-query-to-Real-IP-Address matching process and THEN use encrypted packets to start the secured communications process with the "real" client and/or destination machine.

    Since any intercepting packet sniffers see only "fake" DNS addresses going to "fake" DNS servers that don't actually exist, AND that the REAL IP addresses that are assigned to the "FAKE" DNS names are on the "Virtualized local-machine DNS server, there is an amount of obscurity that is obtained that actually WORKS very well here AND is TOTALLY PATENTABLE !!!!

    ---

    After "processing" what I am reading in this patent, Apple is TOAST --- The court is correct, APPLE HAS INFRINGED on a NOVEL security-through-obscurity and security-via-scrambled-DNS-names-over-Port-80/Port-8080 HTTP method !!!

    For the $400+ million that Apple has to pay it was a WASTE of time to sue in the courts! The amount Apple spent on this case could have bought an ENTIRE TEAM of CPU designers to turn the A14 chip used in their phone sand tablets into a COMBINED 128-bit CPU/GPU/DSP that has 4 times the number crunching and graphics processing horsepower of today's A14 iPhone/iPad processor!

    WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY BY APPLE !!!!!

    ...

    This was NOT a wise way to spend shareholder money!

    .

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