In February Patently Apple filed a report titled "Not Surprising, Apple Files a Motion for a Mistrial in VirnetX Case." In that report we reference another report titled "A Revolving Verdict against Apple in Patent Infringement Case is Sign for why Patent Reform is desperately needed." The report covered the ongoing case with VirnetX and how the case that was once thrown out came back to bite Apple in February in a verdict costing them $625.6 million. Yet the lead attorney for VirnetX stated that he had no illusions that the verdict - one of the largest an East Texas federal jury ever issued—would end the lengthy litigation saga between the two companies. Indeed, the eight-day trial in February was itself a redo. Today, Reuters reports that a federal judge has thrown out a verdict requiring Apple to pay VirnetX Holding Corp $625.6 million for infringing four patents relating to Internet security technology, causing VirnetX's share price to plunge.
Reuters report notes that "VirnetX shares were down $1.93, or 44.6 percent, at $2.40 in Monday morning trading, after earlier falling to $2.14. In a decision late Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder in Tyler, Texas said it was unfair to Apple that two VirnetX lawsuits had been combined into a single trial.
Is it finally over? Not by a long shot. The judge noted that jurors may have been confused by more than 50 references to the earlier case, though it contained "incredibly similar" issues, and deferred improperly to the prior jury's findings when it found Apple's liable for willful infringement.
"The repeated references to the prior jury verdict in the consolidated case resulted in an unfair trial," Schroeder wrote. He ordered that both cases be retried separately, with the first trial beginning on Sept. 26.
"We are disappointed," VirnetX Chief Executive Kendall Larsen said in a statement on Monday. "We are reviewing all our options and will follow the court's direction as we start preparing for these retrials." Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. For more on this read the full Reuters report here.