U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder in Tyler, Texas determined that it was unfair that two VirnetX lawsuits had been combined into a single trial. Jurors were likely confused by over 50 references to the earlier case and may have deferred improperly to the prior jury's finding of willful infringement.
"The repeated references to the prior jury verdict in the consolidated case resulted in an unfair trial," Schroeder wrote.
Schroeder order both cases to be retried separately, the first is set to begin on September 26th. VirnetX shares plunged 44.6% at the news to $2.40.
"We are disappointed," VirnetX Chief Executive Kendall Larsen said. "We are reviewing all our options and will follow the court's direction as we start preparing for these retrials."