back to article Apple on the hook for another $503m in decade-long VirnetX patent rip-off legal marathon

Apple has to pay another $502.8m to network security outfit VirnetX for infringing its patents, a court has decided. The award [PDF] is just the latest in a decade-long legal battle that Apple has gone to enormous lengths to stretch out. Every substantive ruling has gone against Apple, though it has adopted a strategy of …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    On the hook for infringing them while they were valid??

    Are we sure that's the case? That doesn't make sense, if it is found to not be valid surely it is as though it never existed. Otherwise the incentives for trying to patent things that will be later invalidated is even greater than it already is...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: On the hook for infringing them while they were valid??

      Maybe, maybe not. It's like changing the law. You can't prosecute retrospectively because something is a crime now, but wasn't then. Likewise if something was a crime then, but isn't now, it's unusual for people to be pardoned retrospectively. Even crimes committed historically and only arrested and charged recently are usually prosecuted and sentenced under the prevailing conditions at the time. It's messy, ugly and complicated.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: On the hook for infringing them while they were valid??

        Patent not valid means the patent wasn’t for an original invention, so not only was not valid the filer is on the hook for fraud.

        So the filer need to repay any royalties received for the fraudulent patents plus interest… plus the costs of the USPTO and the patent agent used (if any) barred from practise…

  2. gerryg

    It's all about <Irony>Intellectual</irony> property

    The whole system is stupid. Who can possibly work out the proper outcome? We know Apple has got form in this arena but that doesn't help us work out if the litigants are patent trolls or any of the patents are worth anything.

  3. Richard Boyce

    Might is right?

    How does a small inventor stand a chance defending a patent if the system allows infringers to litigate you into bankruptcy when that is cheaper than buying a licence? Are you better off keeping the innovation secret and not revealing it in a patent?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might is right?

      'How does a small inventor stand a chance defending a patent if the system allows infringers to litigate you into bankruptcy when that is cheaper than buying a licence?'

      The answer to that is easy, charge $10 000 000 000 per license.

  4. JassMan

    Sounds like the US needs a law against vexatious litigation

    In the UK, if you repeatedly litigate without merit you get put on a list maintained by the Justice Department ( Once you are on that list, you need permission from the court to take any further legal action. I suspect a large number of people would like to see both parties in this case on that list.

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like the US needs a law against vexatious litigation

      Its actually quite difficult to declared a vexatious litigant; the UK courts really do not like restricting people's access to them. You have to have seriously pissed off the judges on multiple occasions, and completely ignored the judicial warnings that they will have sent, before you end up on the Bad Boys list.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Sounds like the US needs a law against vexatious litigation

      Many US politicians started off as sleazy lawyers. They love this kind on nonsense; therefore, they will never put a stop to it. It takes a lot of money to get into power, and sleazy sue-happy lawyers earn are able to earn that.

  5. Sleep deprived
    Thumb Down

    If we lose, it means the trial was rigged

    Reminiscent of a certain election.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tarred with the same brush as MS !

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    no honor among thieves?

    Sue you buddy, no sue you back double buddy! Should have become a lawyer... What? Apple is suing again? Whooppee! Talk about job insurance.

  8. hoola Silver badge

    Stupid System

    The entire process seems to be bonkers where the appeals are just an infinite process with the sole object of trying to make the other party give up. That is not a legal process and is simply based on how deep one's pockets are.

    Surely there has to be something available to the courts to say, this is a binding judgement and no further appeals are permitted. The fact that it is the same companies (notable Apple being the absolute worst offender) must set a precedent..

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid System

      At each round the company taxes should be raised to pay for the courts costs....

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Stupid System

      It has been noted that rich people or businesses will often sue poorer people or business into silence or submission. The goal is, not to win, but to bankrupt the other person or business. Activists also use this system to stop a project they don't like.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Stupid System

      Yes, clearly, from yours and other posts, I'm not the only one thinking this. Surely "grounds for appeal" should include substantive reasons and/or new evidence, not just "we don't like the result". And likewise, as seen in some other cases, holding back evidence you should have used, but kept in reserve in case you lost so as to just the appeal needs to be stamped on to. It seems many of these big litigants seem to put forward just what evidence they think they need to win specifically so as to have something "new" for an appeal. What happened to "the truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth"?

  9. Whitter


    a) Vexacious litigation

    b) Abuse of process

    c) Contempt of court

    e) All of the above

    Alas, no prizes. Only stifling death by finiacial domination.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Multichoice

      But what did the (d) option ever do to you, to not make the team?

      1. Whitter

        Re: Multichoice


      2. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Multichoice

        He only takes the d, he doesn't give it out.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Apple will appeal - again

    At this point I think it is high time that the courts decide that, if yet another appeal is to take place, the final fine of the previous appeal is automatically doubled.

    Appeal again ? Double the fine again.

    Frankly, it is unfortunate that there is no point where the court has said : enough, pay the fine, and Apple had to pay.

    I know nothing about Virnetx, but I do know that Apple has lost multiple times. It is high time it looses permanently.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    once again the lawyers make more cash

  12. EnviableOne

    VirnetX governance

    ok so in a 21 person company 1/5 of staff is 4.2 so four or five, can you really call that nepotism.

    FFS trump had a higher percentage of familly members appear at the RNC

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: VirnetX governance

      Depends on the roles the family members and others have; if the non-family employees are admin etc. ie. Not decision makers…

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