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Judge Throws Out $625 Million VirnetX Verdict Against Apple, Sets Two Separate Retrials
Apple will no longer have to pay $625.6 million to VirnetX, which claimed the Cupertino company was infringing upon four Internet security-related patents. The decision came last Friday afternoon from U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder in Tyler, Texas, claiming that it was "unfair" on Apple's part that two VirnetX lawsuits were aimed at the company in one trial (via Reuters).The case with VirnetX began originally in 2010, with a jury eventually awarding the company $368 million in 2012, but that decision was thrown out in 2014 after the court found the verdict was "'tainted' by erroneous jury instructions in the case." VirnetX remained adamant and kept going after Apple, now amounting to the four total patents it believes Apple infringed upon, related to services like FaceTime and Messages.In the new ruling, Judge Shroeder claimed that jurors in the current case may have been unknowingly swayed and influenced by the events of the previous lawsuit, ultimately leading to an "unfair trial." As such, he has ordered that each case face a separate retrial, the first beginning next month on September 26. VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen mentioned the company's disappointment at Shroeder's decision, but is preparing for the upcoming retrials all the same.