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Apple Legal

Apple files for mistrial in $625 million lawsuit for patent infringement with iMessage and FaceTime

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By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

February 6, 2016 | 2 min read

Apple has filed for a mistrial in a patent infringement suit with VirnetX after the tech company has been ordered to pay $625.6 million in damages relating to its iMessage and FaceTime software.

VirnetX has sued Apple claiming the company infringed on four patents related to communications protocols patents used in iMessage, FaceTime, and VPN on Demand, as well as the Apple devices using the software.

The court ruled that Apple was found guilty on all claims. However, Apple now claims lawyers for VirnetX used "arguments outside the evidence and blatantly misrepresented the testimony of Apple's witnesses" in closing arguments this week, according to legal blog Texas Lawyer.

Representatives from VirnetX claim it intends to use its patents to develop products, but it doesn't appear to be engaged in activity outside of the courtroom. It is likely the firm’s sole purpose is to sue other companies, since it only has 14 employees and a very small office.

It is not the first time VirnetX has sued Apple; in 2012 VirnetX won a judgement of $368 million against the tech company. It also came close to sealing a "running royalty," which would have earned it one percent of iPhone and iPad sales going forward. The ruling was thrown out two years later, after Apple had redesigned FaceTime to avoid infringing VirnetX's patents.

In this most recent lawsuit, the company initially demanded $532 million from Apple, but later increased the demand to $625.6 million, which was awarded this week.

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