Apple to pay damages of up to $626 million in patent 'infringment'

Apple must pay $626 million in damages after after a jury found that iMessage, FaceTime and other Apple software infringed on VirnetX patents.This case has been underway in the courts since 2012 when VirnetX accused Apple of violating four of its patents, which mostly involve methods for real-time communications over the Internet.

VirnetX (VHC) has come under fire for causing unnecessary problems as it just has 14 employees and is located in rented office space.The company makes money by licensing patents for other firms and suing other company's that it believes it has infringed on its intellectual property. The company owns around 80 patents, of which four of it includes that it claims Apple has copied. 

In 2012, a jury had found Apple guilty of violating the same patents, and ordered the company to pay VirnetX $368 million. Apple appealed and won on a technicality after VirnetX failed to prove that consumers were buying iPads and other gadgets because of the software that violated VirnetX's patents. The appeals court vacated the damages, and sent the case back down to the East Texas District Court for a retrial. However on Wednesday a new jury found that Apple owed more to VirnetX because it 'intentionally' violated the company's patents.

Apple has since revised its iMessage, FaceTime and VPN software. VirnetX has had mixed success in previous patent cases, in 2010 in a case with Microsoft, the company settled out of court approximately for $200 million and sued the company again in 2015. However the company has lost a patent case against Cisco last year.