Judge tosses patent verdict against Apple, orders new trials

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge has tossed out a jury’s decision calling for Apple to pay $625.6 million in damages to a Nevada company that claims Apple infringed on its patents for technology used in Apple services like FaceTime and iMessage.

The judge decided Apple didn’t receive a fair trial in a Texas courtroom earlier this year because jurors heard arguments stemming from two separate lawsuits, creating potential for confusion because some of the claims had also been argued in an earlier trial.

The claims were brought by VirnetX, a company that buys technology patents and aims to make money from licensing fees and lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder ruled Friday that the two lawsuits should get separate retrials this fall. Apple declined comment. VirnetX did not immediately respond Monday.