back to article Patently dogged: Apple unleashes lawyers to slash $454m patent rip-off bill – even after Supreme Court snub

Apple’s decade-long refusal to accept it was wrong has hit absurd depths. In court paperwork [PDF] filed last week, the iGiant argued that the $454m it was finally forced to pay VirnetX for infringing on its patents should be reduced, even though it has already paid the money and even though it lost the case at the United …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Apple? Spiteful?

    "now appears purely spiteful."

    Surely not. They are merely unselfishly defending the right of all oligopolies to crush the competition. When you own the playing field, why shouldn't you be able to tilt it?

    1. robidy

      Re: Apple? Spiteful?

      Hmmm, seems like a patent troll at work...

  2. Morrie Wyatt

    I wonder.

    At what point does Apple get declared as a vexatious litigant?

    The icon? It's as good an icon for litigation as any, each party screaming to the judge how badly they have been done by.

    1. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: I wonder.

      Totally vexatious. Smack them with punitive damages with a no appeal clause so they shut up, pay up and go away.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Totally agree

        I think $10 billion should be a good object lesson.

        1. Wade Burchette

          Re: Totally agree

          Taken first out of the CEO's wallet.

          Because in American finances, lawyers and penalties are a tax write-off. If the fine comes out of the president's, owner's, or CEO's wallet, this stuff will stop real quick.

    2. macjules
      Big Brother

      Re: I wonder.

      "You are only as vexatious as your attorney says you are."

      © Messrs Sue Grabbit & Runne. Any attempt to copy this will result in non-vexatious litigation.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Well done Apple

      From the article: "Apple [...] succeeded in getting VirnetX's patents that led to the award invalidated."

      Patent examiners have a choice of granting invalid patents or spending ages going through the paperwork to delay granting an invalid patent then get shouted out for not keeping up with the work load. We know beyond all possible doubt that the patents are invalid (even without Apple jumping through all the expensive hoops required to get them invalidated). Mathematics is not patentable. Software is a branch of mathematics so it is not patentable (it is protected by copyright). Getting an obviously invalid patent invalidated takes time. This gives trolls like VirnetX plenty of time to get a judgement in East Texas because East Texas will not tolerate a moment of delay when finding for a patent troll.

      In any normal area of law (ie not patents or bankruptcy) the documents at the base of the case being invalid would put an end to the matter before the defendant has to waste time and money listening to the plaintive's case. For patents, you have to defend perfectly at every stage to keep your right of appeal and even though the patents are invalid you still have to pay up and then somehow get the money back from the bankrupt shell company that started the litigation.

      By all means hate Apple as much as you want but please try to remember why the patent system is despised by inventors. (My views on the matter are tolerant in the extreme. I would like patent lawyers and holders fined. By far the more popular remedies are burning or drowning.)

      1. PatentInvestor

        Re: Well done Apple

        You do realize that the percentage of applications granted from the PTO is a relatively low number don't you, especially in the world of technology?

        You do realize that VirnetX's patents are not "software" at all? (Apple's 101 challenges were dismissed out of hand by the district court judge and not even appealed by Apple in their myriad of attempts at the CAFC).

        You do realize the original litigation was filed in 2010 and Apple was only forced to pay in 2020? How long SHOULD the federal courts hold it so the behemoth can win at the PTO (After trying multiple times and still failing).

        You seem really upset, but also sadly misinformed.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Well done Apple

          For the US PTO the grant rate for applications hovers just below 50% in most years, according to the statistics they publish.

          Personally, I think that's not bad, given the terms of their charter and the resource constraints they face.

  3. mikus

    Last will and testament to Steve Jobs.

    Fsck VirnetX, see the lawyers beg and go hungry over my cold body.

    I don't typically like apple much, but in this I laugh at every payout delay to the guppies.

  4. James Anderson

    Don’t they understand the law?

    .. the unwritten rule of law which has held for 246 years

    “ he who holedef the the largesf purse shall prevail “

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don’t they understand the law?

      "First we kill the lawyers"

      Even older.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Lawyers doing what lawyers are bred to do

    Delay, delay and prevarocate.

    The longer a case takes means more money for them. Take SCO vs IBM as an example. Started in 2003 and still not finally resolved. The [cough][cough] court appointed trustee (a lawyer) is still racking up costs.

    Is it any wonder that the legal pro(fession) is almost universally loathed. Come the revolution right up there at the front of the line for dealing with are the lawyers.

    A lot of us would rather [see icon] than be friends with any of those scumbags.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Lawyers doing what lawyers are bred to do

      Not defending lawyers in any way, but in this case they are doing what Apple is telling them to do. A lawyer cannot continue a case without his client's approval.

      And this client is even more spiteful than a divorced woman who has been cheated on.

      At least she has a good reason.

  6. nojobhopes
    Big Brother

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Would the CIA contract quoted in the patent have any bearing on the outcome of the case?

  7. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Were the patents valid, or not?

    The answer to this determines whether VirnetX are due any sympathy here at all. If the patents were invalid and they got this far on the USPTO's patently broken system (pun intended), then more power to Apple to use any and all legal avenues possible to get whatever they can. Remember this isn't just about squashing VirnetX, it's about discouraging worthless patent litigation in the future.

    If the patents were valid, then I could see the argument here for calling Apple a vexatious litigant.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple rapidly becoming public enemy number one

    They could become boycotted due to their kowtowing to China.

    President Xi knows that the West does not care less while an icon like Apple happily continues to make their phones in China

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    Oh this should be good!

    Can't wait to see how much MORE they are going to have to pay!

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