Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Verdict against Apple vacated pending new trial

New Jersey residents may be interested to know that VirnetX, a company that makes money from patent litigation, had won an award of $625 million from Apple. In that case, VirnetX claimed that Apple violated a patent related to FaceTime and VPN technology. A judge reversed the verdict on appeal because VirnetX had mentioned a previous verdict when it shouldn't have done so. The judge felt like those comments could have prejudiced the jury.

Furthermore, the judge felt that combining the FaceTime and VPN cases into one case could have confused jurors. Therefore, two separate retrials were ordered with the first one taking place in September 2016. VirnetX is considered to be a patent troll because it makes most of its money suing other companies for patent infringement as opposed to making its own items. The decision caused a 44.6 percent reduction in the company's share price.

A company may obtain a patent for any number of reasons. For instance, it may create a unique product or simply make improvements to an existing product. It may also create a new chemical formula or otherwise create a new design that does not exist currently. Once a company or individual has a patent, it generally has the right to be compensated for its intellectual property. This means a company may license the right to use patented technology or may sell the patent itself.

Generally, a person or company who holds a patent doesn't need to actually do anything with it to protect its rights. However, patent holders must generally must take steps to protect its interests to retain a legitimate claim in the event that a patent is infringed upon. Those who feel like their intellectual rights have been violated may wish to talk with an attorney.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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