Microsoft loses round one in latest patent infringement case in East Texas

VirnetX won the initial round in its patent-infringement case against Microsoft over VPN technology. A Texas jury recommended Microsoft pay VirnetX $105.75 million for willfully infringing on two VirnetX networking patents which VirnetX claims Microsoft used without licensing. Microsoft is appealing the verdict.

VirnetX won the initial round in its patent-infringement case against Microsoft over VPN technology.

A Texas jury on March 16 recommended Microsoft pay VirnetX $105.75 million for willfully infringing on two VirnetX networking patents which VirnetX claims Microsoft used without licensing. VirnetX said Microsoft has used the VPN technologies in question in Windows Server 2003, XP, Vista, Live Communications Server, Windows Messenger, Office Communicator and various versions of Office.

Microsoft is appealing the verdict. Here's the statement from Kevin Kutz, Director of Microsoft Public Affairs:

“We are disappointed by the jury’s verdict. We respect others’ intellectual property, and we believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid. We believe the award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict.”

The U.S. District Court in East Tyler, Texas, has been the scene of many a patent lawsuit against not just Microsoft, but other tech companies as well. Patent cases brought against Microsoft there include the Eolas Z4 cases. McKool Smith, the law firm representing VirnetX is the same one that represented i4i, which won a $200-million-plus patent-infringement verdict against Microsoft. Judge Leonard Davis, the same judge who presided over the i4i case, was also the judge in the VirnetX matter.

VirnetX had sought $242 million in its case against Microsoft.

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