Apple, Google to pay damages for patent infringement in separate cases


Apple and Google have both been hit with monetary penalties for patent infringement in separate cases. Juries ruled that Apple will have to pay patent licensing firm VirnetX $368.2 million and Google will have to pay patent-holding company Vringo $30 million thanks to two separate infringements.

Apple’s infringement revolves around VPN technology on devices which have Apple’s FaceTime feature active, including the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. VirnetX, which makes most of its money from patent licenses, had claimed that Apple infringed on four patents which cover “the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks.” A jury in Eastern Texas agreed with VirnetX, awarding the company $368.2 million. VirnetX will now be looking for a court order to prevent Apple from using the patented tech according to the company’s lawyer Doug Cawley. Initially VirnetX was looking for $708 million in damages.

Meanwhile Google and several advertising partners have been ordered to pay Vringo, a small company that was litigating on old Lycos patents that were purchased in 2011, the sum of $30 million. Google’s share of this total is reportedly $15.9 million, with AOL and other partners making up smaller amounts. The company was looking for $493 million from Google’s coffers but the judge in the case capped the damages that could be awarded, saying that only damages from the time that Vringo bought the patents would be valid.

Both companies will likely appeal the decisions, both of which have been brought by technically non-producing entities. Neither VirnetX nor Vringo appear to have any products developed that utilise the patents being litigated on, though VirnetX apparently has an SDK in development.

Source: Ars Technica 1, 2


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