Apple on Tuesday was ordered to pay $502.6 million to VirnetX Holding Corp. after a grand jury in Texas found that the iPhone maker infringed patents related to secure communications, according to Bloomberg.
The judgment is the latest in an 8-year-old legal battle between Apple and VirnetX, a company that makes most of its money from licensing patented technology that creates virtual private networks over the internet. VirnetX filed a trio of lawsuits in 2010 alleging that Apple's FaceTime, VPN on Demand and iMessage features infringed four VirnetX patents.
A verdict in February 2016 ordered Apple to pay VirnetX $625.6 million in damages after two lawsuits were combined. But in August of that year, a federal judge voided the verdict, saying that combining two lawsuits into a single trial confused the jurors and was unfair to Apple. He ruled that both cases needed to be tried separately.
In October 2017, a federal judge in Texas awarded VirtnetX $439.7 million in damages -- nearly $140 million higher than the $302.4 million Apple was ordered to pay VirtnetX a year earlier in yet another trial.
VirtnetX spokesman Greg Wood called the verdict "fair and appropriate," but the judgment may ultimately have little impact as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled the patents invalid in 2016.
Apple representatives didn't respond to a request for comment.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.
Special Reports: CNET's in-depth features in one place.
Apple - USE TAG
reading•Apple ordered to pay $502M to VirnetX in lengthy patent fight
Jan 17•Verizon offers BOGO deals on iPhone XR, Pixel 3 and more
Jan 17•Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS and XS Max: Review in progress
Jan 17•Apple's Tim Cook calls for new regulations to protect your personal data
Jan 17•This tech for your aging parents fights isolation, boosts awareness