In early August Patently Apple posted a report titled "VirnetX Stock Plunges as Judge Voids $625.6 Million Verdict against Apple." VirnetX Chief Executive Kendall Larsen said in a statement at that time that "We are disappointed. We are reviewing all our options and will follow the court's direction as we start preparing for these retrials." Well, that retrial may not happen exactly as planned. On Friday, VirnetX's stock plunged again by 14% when it was revealed that four of the patents that were to be used in the retrial with Apple have been deemed invalid by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Two of the patents were challenged by Apple and the other two were challenged by hedge fund Mangrove Partners LLC. The decisions come less than two weeks before VirnetX and Apple are scheduled to square off in a Texas courtroom for the third time. A judge had tossed a $625.6 million verdict against Apple in August and ordered the new trial. Jury selection is scheduled for Sept. 26.
The patent invalidation process will take time to work through the system and could complicate the next phase of the case. The patents legally remain valid and enforceable until all appeals are decided.
Apple has asked that the trial be postponed until after the patent office reviews are considered. VirnetX opposes that, and is instead asking the judge to reinstate the original verdict. For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report here.