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VirnetX asks court to ban FaceTime and iMessage, add $190 million to patent payout

Intensifying its patent infringement case against Apple, VirnetX has asked a Texas court to order an injunction against FaceTime, iMessage, and a VPN feature, while simultaneously asking for greater damage payments on top of $625.6 million awarded earlier this year.




Apple could potentially owe an extra $190 million, Law360 said on Thursday. During a Wednesday court hearing, VirnetX argued that while the requested injunction might seem extreme, irreparable harm was caused, and the extra damages are due to Apple being a "poster child" for unreasonable legal tactics.

Apple is still seeking a mistrial for the earlier jury verdict. The company argues that an injunction or royalty payments would be inappropriate, given that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the four patents-in-suit. It also claims that that a questionable argument was made to the jury, and moreover that despite the jury's verdict, the court should rule non-infringement given a lack of evidence.

VirnetX's battle with Apple extends back to 2012, when the latter was initially ordered to pay out $368.2 million. That decision was tossed, but this year's retrial resulted in an even higher damage sum.

If it can't have VirnetX's lawsuit quashed, Apple is likely to reach some sort of agreement to avoid any interruption of FaceTime or iMessage. Both services are critical to Mac and iOS devices, and would make many customers upset if they suddenly disappeared.