A federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas Wednesday denied Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report motion for relief from judgment in a long-running patent litigation case between VirnetX Holding Corp (VHC) - Get Report, an internet security software and technology company, and the tech giant. Shares of VHC were up 8% in early trading Wednesday while Apple rose more than 2%.
The ruling means Apple cannot recover the roughly $440 million it paid VirnetX in damages for using its internet security technology without permission in features such as FaceTime video calling.
In February, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Apple's appeal of a 2016 federal court verdict that hit the iPhone maker with a $302 million penalty in the patent infringement case. The amount rose to $439.7 million as the case dragged on. The patents have since been invalidated.
The original case dates back to 2010 when Nevada-based VirnetX filed a suit in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas accusing Apple of infringing four patents for secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links. VirnetX had said Apple infringed with its FaceTime and VPN on Demand features in products such as the iPhone and iPad.
Apple had in the past argued that the verdict and the damages were unfair, saying the amount awarded to VirnetX was well above the actual value of the technology at issue.