In 1998, VirnetX, a small company based in Nevada, filed a patent over a technology involving Virtual Private Networks (VPN). When FaceTime was introduced in iPhone 4 back in 2010, Apple was sued by VirnetX over alleged use of its patented VPN technology in FaceTime features.
Apple was subsequently ordered to pay $368 million to VirnetX for violating the patent laws, but the ruling was thrown out, which resulted in a retrial.
Earlier this year, a Texas court ruled in favor of VirnetX and ordered Apple to pay $625 million in damages.
Now, in another setback to Cupertino based tech giant, VirnetX has filed a legal motion in an Eastern District of Texas court, to order Apple to stop providing its FaceTime and iMessage services to customers. According to Law360:
At a post-trial hearing Wednesday, Texas technology company VirnetX argued that although an injunction blocking Apple’s popular video chatting and messaging features, along with a virtual private network on demand feature, may seem like a harsh remedy, it is necessary because of the irreparable harm Apple’s infringement caused the company. VirnetX also asked the court to increase the jury’s damages award by at least $190 million, arguing that Apple has been the “poster child” for unreasonable litigation tactics.
In addition to its two successful legal battles with Apple, VirnetX has also been involved in a settlement with Microsoft over the use of same technology. Now it is to be seen if we will be deprived of our favorite video chatting app, a situation which seems impossible to imagine.