Judge voids VirnetX's $625.6 million Apple verdict; VirnetX plunges

Mon Aug 1, 2016 10:22am EDT
 
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By Jonathan Stempel and Andrew Chung

(Reuters) - A federal judge has thrown out a verdict requiring Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) to pay VirnetX Holding Corp VHC.A $625.6 million for infringing four patents relating to Internet security technology, causing VirnetX's share price to plunge.

VirnetX shares were down $1.93, or 44.6 percent, at $2.40 in Monday morning trading, after earlier falling to $2.14.

In a decision late Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder in Tyler, Texas said it was unfair to Apple that two VirnetX lawsuits had been combined into a single trial.

He said jurors may have been confused by more than 50 references to the earlier case, though it contained "incredibly similar" issues, and deferred improperly to the prior jury's findings when it found Apple's liable for willful infringement.

"The repeated references to the prior jury verdict in the consolidated case resulted in an unfair trial," Schroeder wrote.

He ordered that both cases be retried separately, with the first trial beginning on Sept. 26.

VirnetX is a Zephyr Cove, Nevada-based company that derives most of its revenue from licensing patents.

It accused Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing patents used in products including FaceTime and iMessage.   Continued...

 
The Apple logo hangs from the front of the new Apple Store Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., July 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly  - RTSK4LQ