VirnetX sues Microsoft over patents again, now taking aim at Windows 7

VirnetX sues Microsoft over patents again, now taking aim at Windows 7

Summary: Just days after winning Round 1 of its patent-infringement case against Microsoft, VirnetX has filed another patent-infringement case against the Redmondians. This time, VirnetX is taking aim at Windows 7.


Just days after winning Round 1 of its patent-infringement case against Microsoft, VirnetX has filed another patent-infringement case against the Redmondians. This time, VirnetX is taking aim at Windows 7.

The new case, which came to light on March 18, again alleges that Microsoft is using VirnetX's virtual private networking (VPN) patents without paying for their use. VirnetX's original case against Microsoft, filed in 2007, cited Windows Server 2003, XP, Vista, Live Communications Server, Windows Messenger, Office Communicator and various versions of Office as infringing on two of VirnetX's patents. The new pleading focuses on Windows 7, claiming it infringes on these same patents.

Kevin Kutz, Director of Public Affairs, said Microsoft hadn't yet seen VirnetX's new claim.

"While we can't comment specifically about the new complaint because we have not been served, Microsoft respects intellectual property, and we believe our products do not infringe the patents involved.  Moreover, we believe those patents are invalid.  We will challenge VirnetX's claims."

A Texas jury on March 16 recommended Microsoft pay VirnetX $105.75 million for willfully infringing on two VirnetX networking patents. Microsoft officials said they are appealing that ruling.

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 the judge overseeing the VirnetX case, as well.

VirnetX, a subsidiary of VirnetX Holdings, is “focused on commercializing a patent portfolio for securing real-time communications over the Internet,” explains the company in its November 10-Q.

Update: I just received more on VirnetX's new suit, which it filed on March 17, 2010. Here's VirnetX's official statment:

VirnetX "filed a complaint in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135 and 7,188,180 by Microsoft's Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 software products."

“This is a tactical and procedural post-trial action to ensure and protect our property rights as we proceed to final resolution with Microsoft,” said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX President and CEO.

Topics: Operating Systems, Legal, Microsoft, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Dodgy Judge

    Not to take issue with the American legal process,
    but I'd suggest serious bias (and probably a
    backhander) with this judge.

    I think that while Microsoft may possibly infringe
    on these patents, it's extremely unfair that the
    same judge has been hearing all the patent
    infringement cases; to rule out bias, a different
    judge should be appointed to this case.
    • True, some Judges are biased.

      They often show a bias in favor of victims. As expected, criminals think that's not fair.

      <i>C'est la vie.</i>
      Great Kahuna
      • This judge has a terrible track record

        whatever you think of MS or however much you hate them, this particular court room as had some absolutely asinine verdicts.
        • You can't conclude that he hates MS.

          Hi LiquidLearner,
          He gave you absolutely no clue to make
          you conclude that he hates MS; He merely
          implied that MS is a criminal enterprise. I
          think it is. It's a predatory monopoly, so
          he's correct.

          You overreached.
          • You must be new here.

            Anyone that successfully sues Microsoft is evil. If Microsoft successfully
            sues anyone the other company is evil. The judge obviously is biased,
            when he made the statement that Microsoft [b]willfully infringed[/b],
            because we all know that Microsoft respects other people?s IP. Wow I
            actually typed that, without falling out of my chair. :)
          • another uninformed idiot...

            why dont you look at he holdings of the judge and youll see that there is not only a conflict of interest ther but his rulings are reached with out the benifit of either supporting fact of even bothering to look as the evidence whit proves that not only is the Virnetx claim totaly bogus but it is contrived and premeditated as well. If MS has ay legal staff worth their salt the proof is readily available to not only suooort their own case bur there is more than enought evidentce to ensure success of a counter suite which could easily bankrupt virnetx but hopefully get this idiot judge disbarred as well.
        • What? You mean the judge...

          Keeps on finding the guilty guilty, despite their earnest claiming of their innocence?

          Or is this judge more in the mold of making rulings and then they're overturned? If that's the case, then judge is not great etc. If not, you're just whining.
          • this judge doesn't know the difference between guilty or innocent

            not only is he currently under investigation by the justice department for rulings based on his own personal gain but he is also being investigated for crimes againt the us judicial system...which at this time I have been asked not to elaborate on.
      • Kahuna, this is civil litigation

        Criminal code is not written yet for "Patent infringement" you idiot.
      • in this case..

        this judege not nly has a lack of knowledge in the law but is all so showing a buas in favor of a company which it is publically available that he/she ows controling stock in. In other words her verdicts on both cases should be thrown out especially simce the MS patents far predate the patents placed after the fact by this scamming company.
    • I wonder how much..

      the lawyer that is representing the company and the judge handling the case is getting out of this. Same 2 for 2 has to have a nice kickback somewhere and if the judge already thinks you are guilty once will have the same notion before another trial begins. No way I see impartial and Fair here..
      • If you have proof...

        [i]Same 2 for 2 has to have a nice kickback somewhere and if the judge
        already thinks you are guilty once will have the same notion before
        another trial begins. No way I see impartial and Fair here..[/i]

        I would strongly suggest that you report that right away. If not, be
        careful, as it is considered liable (and possibly slander) to make
        accusation like that on a public forum.

        If the evidence show that Microsoft willingly infringed, the judge is
        irrelevant. The law determines the guilt, or innocence of the defendant.
        • my god people... this is civil

          There is no guilt or innocence you boneheads. There is a preponderance of the evidence. Bunch of money grubing idiots and neantherthal in here.
        • Go to law school, some of us have.

          You dont know a bit of what your talking about, but you say it alot.

          Thats a bad combo.
        • No, the law does not determine it.

          The judge's interpretation of the law determine's the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

          Software patents are a crock as a whole. I believe companies deserveve just compensation, but way to many of the big companies, MS, Apple, IBM, Google are patenting things that never should get patented in the first place.

          If there is a great conspiracy, it is between the patent attorneys and the patent office. They are the only ones benefitting from most of these issues.
        • the problem is...

          there has been no concrete evidence to prove that and according to publically released patent documents MS had the patent on this particular technology a full 2 years before VirnetX ever applied for their patent.
    • Thank Bush Jr for this judge

      We should all thank Bush Jr. for this "un-bias" judge.

      Leonard E. Davis (born 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas) is a district judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.[1] He was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2002 and was sworn in on May 15, 2002
      • Can you not READ??

        To jm2cent and lenohere. Can you not read? The judge did not award anything... The article, not and opinion piece, clearly says that a jury, that's J.U.R.Y awarded damages of blah blah.

        I am not defending this judge, personally I couldn't care less, however I will defend the truth of known facts, i.e. those elucidated in the article.

        Try reading it again.
        • Know the system -- the Judge matters

          The jury decided the amount of damages and certain facts. The legal decisions, like patent validity and whether the case got to the jury for damages, were made by the judge.
    • Dodgy Microsoft

      We need more judges like this to ensure the legal system is working correctly, for those like VirnetX. Microsoft has a long long history of taking what it wants, without giving anything back. It's time that they pay for their actions.