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Apple Ordered to Pay $368 Million to Settle FaceTime Patent Dispute

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Apple has been ordered to pay USD368.2 million in damages for infringing four patents used in its FaceTime video calling service.

The company was sued by VirnetX which had registered a number of video related patents between 2002 and 2011. VirnetX had wanted a higher settlement from the Apple case but the Federal jury awarded it half its initial demand.

Apple is the latest in a line of companies found to have infringed the company's patents. Microsoft had previously paid USD200 million to the company, and it is currently suing a number of other companies.

"This victory further establishes the importance of our patent portfolio," VirnetX Chief Executive Officer Kendall Larsen said in a statement. Apple has not commented on the case, and has an option to appeal. Apple had argued that it was using different technologies in its Facetime services.

The victory however strengthens VirnetX application to the US International Trade Commission which is currently investigating if it should impose an import ban on Apple products infringing the patents. Such a ban would affect Apple's entire line of iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets.

VirnetX is a small  company, having reported revenues of just US$36,000 from patent royalties in the first half of this year, according to analysis by Bloomberg News.

The patents determined to have been infringed in this case were U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135, 7,418,504, 7,921,211 and 7,490,151.

On the web: Bloomberg News

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Tags: apple  facetime  virnetx  USA