Apple appeals US$368 million award to VirnetX in patent case

Apple gave notice Monday it was appealing in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Apple is appealing a US$368 million award granted to patent holding company VirnetX by a federal court in Texas.

The company gave notice Monday that it was appealing the judgement of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler division in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, according to court records.

After a jury trial last year, the Texas court ordered in February that Apple pay $368 million in damages to VirnetX for its infringement of claims relating to four patents, besides pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, and post-verdict damages.

The court also denied last month a motion by Apple to alter or amend the judgment, including a decision by the court to severe VirnetX's claim for an ongoing royalty into a separate action and order the parties to attempt to negotiate a license for a post-verdict royalty without the court's intervention.

VirnetX filed the patent infringement suit in August 2010 against Apple, Cisco Systems and other companies. On the eve of trial, only Apple and Cisco remained. The court allowed separate trials, setting Apple's trial for Oct. 31 last year.

The Zephyr Cove, Nevada, company describes itself as an Internet security software and technology company with patented technology for secure communications including 4G LTE security.

VirnetX alleged that Apple in its iPhone, iPad and iPod products infringed four U.S. patents. Two of the patents describe a method of transparently creating a virtual private network between a client computer and a target computer, while the other two disclose a secure domain name service, according to court records.

"We expected Apple to appeal," said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO and president in a statement. The company expects to prevail in the appeal. Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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