iPhone 7
Apple has been found guilty of infringing a patent related to using VirnetX's security technology Reuters

Apple has been ordered to pay more than $302m (£233) for infringing patents belonging to VirnetX Holding Corp. The iPhone maker has been found guilty of using VirnetX's internet security technology in features like FaceTime.

The verdict is a let-down for Apple for a case that has been going on since 2010. At first the jury ruled that Apple owed more than $600m to VirnetX, but in August 2016 an appeals court threw the ruling out, saying jurors may have been confused. The latest verdict was handed out by the Eastern District of Texas court, which has gained a reputation for favouring plaintiffs that allege infringement in patent cases, reports say.

Both Apple and VirnetX have not issued any statement post the order but Bloomberg reports that Apple is likely to face another round of court proceedings. The court will try to determine whether Apple wilfully infringed the patents and if found guilty, the company could face much higher damages.

VirnetX has also filed another patent infringement case against Apple over other security features that include the iMessage application.

VirnetX was founded by former employees of government contractor SAIC Inc, and most of its developed technology stems from work done for the CIA for developing secure communications. In fact, the company has been unsuccessful in marketing its own software and mostly relies on patent licensing for revenue. It has only about 20 employees, both part-time and full-time, and got its last payout from Microsoft Corp amounting to $23m.