Apple Inc (AAPL), $368M Lighter, Takes on Google Inc (GOOG)

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has apparently had enough with beating around the bush. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is being a bit of a pest as a proxy for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the ongoing intellectual-property and patent wars, so Apple (AAPL) has now decided once and for all to take on Google (GOOG) directly. This is just one of two significant legal developments involving Cupertino, and they happen in two different states.


Apple Inc. (AAPL)

In a Texas federal courtroom, VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSE:VHC) was handed a $368 million award as the court ruled that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) had infringed on patents that were being used in the FaceTime video-calling service on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The award was about half of what VirnetX (VHC) requested for the infringement of a “collection” of patents categorized under “Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of Virtual Private Network.” The initial lawsuit was filed in late 2011 and involved the iPhone 4S. While Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely appeal at least in an attempt to reduce the damages, VirnetX indicated that it would push to block all future uses of its patent technology – which may be the end of FaceTime on all iDevices now and in the future.

VirnetX (VHC) won a $200 million settlement from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2010.


In another courtroom, this one in California, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been battling Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in a patent war, and Apple won an initial $1.05 billion award in August. Now, though, Apple has decided to up the ante in the case, not only targeting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet as infringing Apple patents, but now Apple is looking to take on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) directly by claiming that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system also violates patents.

This new trial is due to start in 2014.

In October, Samsung added a claim that the Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 infringes on its patents, which it had claimed in a countersuit which was dismissed by a the jury in August.

Do you think the VirnetX (VHC) damage award will cost Apple Inc (AAPL), besides the money? And what are your thoughts about innovation in the technology world? Will there be a time where investors in Apple stock, like billionaire Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, won’t have to have an eye on legal briefs in order to paint a picture about the entire company’s fundamentals?