New York A federal jury in Texas on Friday night ordered Apple Inc to pay more than $302 million in damages for using VirnetX Holding Corp’s patented internet security technology without permission in features including its FaceTime video conferencing application.The verdict came in a new trial in Tyler, Texas that had been ordered by the judge in the case, Robert Schroeder, who last August threw out VirnetX’s $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused.
VirnetX and Apple have been fighting over patents for years. The case began in 2010 when VirnetX, a Nevada-based patent licensor, filed suit in the Eastern District of Texas federal court, claiming infringement of four patents for secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links.
A jury in 2012 awarded $368.2 million in damages, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., partly overturned that verdict, saying there were problems with how the trial judge instructed jurors on calculating damages.
On remand, VirnetX’s two suits were combined, and in February, a jury returned with an even bigger verdict, $625.6 million, one of the highest ever in a U.S. patent case.
However, Schroeder later voided the result, saying that the repeated references to the earlier case could have confused jurors and were unfair to Apple.
In the latest trial, jurors were asked to determine damages on two VirnetX patents that Apple had already been found to infringe, and to determine both infringement and damages on another two patents. The $302.4 million award was in line with what VirnetX had been demanding.