VirnetX's $625.6m damages win from Apple thrown out by US District Court

The trial awarding VirnetX $625.6m in damages from Apple for patent infringement was not a fair trial, as jurors heard evidence from two lawsuits that will now be heard in two separate trials.

The United States District Court has thrown out a jury's decision for Apple to pay $625.6 million in damages to Nevada-based company VirnetX for patent infringement, claiming Apple did not receive a fair trial.

Judge Robert Schroeder, from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, deemed the trial to have been not fair because jurors heard arguments stemming from two separate lawsuits, which created the potential for confusion.

Instead, Schroeder ruled that the two lawsuits be trialled separately in the second half of this year.

VirnetX -- a company that buys technology patents, licences them out, and chases compensation from those that infringe its patents -- brought the case against Apple in 2012, claiming the Cupertino-based giant had infringed on its patents in FaceTime and iMessage services, seeking $532 million in damages.

The patent-licence company won its original lawsuit, with a verdict awarding it $368.2 million in damages. Apple appealed, with the verdict thrown out in 2014; thereafter, VirnetX got a retrial, which began in January this year.

In February, a federal jury ordered Apple to pay $625.6 million in damages and royalties to VirnetX, which has now been thrown out.

Apple has been in and out of court, most recently in March when the US Department of Justice sought a court order to get Apple to unlock the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The case was dissolved when the FBI found a way to unlock the phone without Apple's help.

Apple last week reported a quarterly profit of $7.8 billion, on $42.4 billion in revenue despite iPhone sales falling 21 percent year on year, and iPad sales decreasing by 3 percent. It is expecting revenue of between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion for the current quarter.

With AAP