Judge Upholds $368 Million FaceTime Patent Infringement Judgment against Apple

March 5, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

Los Angeles – A Texas federal judge upheld a $368 million patent infringement judgment against Apple Inc. last week, but the judge refused to issue an injunction against Apple over the FaceTime app that would have prevented Apple from offering its video chat product on the market.

In November, a Texas jury found that Apple had infringed four patents owned by VirnetX Holding Corp. with its FaceTime application that is available for use on various Apple products, including the iPad and iPhone.

After the $368 million judgment against Apple in November, the technology giant filed several post-trial motions attempting to eliminate or reduce the verdict against it, which U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis denied.  The judge also ordered Apple to pay pre- and post-judgment interest to VirnetX, though he denied VirnetX’s request for attorney’s fees.

Judge Davis, however, rejected VirnetX’s bid for a permanent injunction that would prevent Apple from providing the popular videotelephony software application on its various devices.  As the app is already on millions of phones and tablets, Judge Davis said an injunction would be too drastic, resulting in unnecessary inconvenience and expense.

“The most recent estimates project the cost [for Apple] to comply at $50.8 million,” the judge said.  “Additionally, though VirnetX only seeks to enjoin the use of the infringing feature and not the entire devices, an injunction would not only harm Apple, but also its customers and other third parties.”

However, Judge Davis did order the two companies into mediation to determine a fair royalty rate that Apple will pay in order to use the technology in its products.

VirnetX originally filed the lawsuit against Apple in August 2010, alleging that Apple was infringing four patents.  The FaceTime app allows users to make video calls to others who also have Apple products with FaceTime.

VirnetX said in a statement that it was pleased with the judge’s decision to uphold the ruling against Apple and said that it would drop the related lawsuit it filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission and pursue relief through the federal courts.