Apple has been battling VirnetX in court for over a decade over patents, and on Thursday, the US Court of Appeals handed Apple a victory in the latest skirmish.
In 2010, VirnetX launched a legal dispute by alleging numerous instances of patent infringement related to FaceTime, VPN, and iMessage services. A Texas court fined Apple $368 million in 2012 for violating one patent, but the ruling was overturned almost two years later.
In the most recent update, Apple convinced the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to invalidate the two patents by upholding a decision from the USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board, according to Reuters.
It might overturn the $502 million fine that Apple was ordered to pay in 2020. The company separately appealed that verdict, but the Federal Circuit still has to rule in that case.
"If the court upholds the [USPTO's] decision, we have a big problem," VirnetX attorney Jeff Lamken of MoloLamken said at the September hearing. "I don't think we have an enforceable judgment."
The case has gone through numerous appeals and rulings. With the Federal Circuit's decision on Thursday, Apple and VirnetX await a final decision in Apple's appeal of the initial verdict out of East Texas.
VirnetX had separately won a $302 million verdict against Apple in 2016, which was increased to $440 million later on.