VirnetX wins Apple patent infringement case

VirnetX wins Apple patent infringement case

Summary: Apple must pay VirnetX $368.2 million after a court found the firm infringed patents through its FaceTime feature.

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TOPICS: Apple
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A Texan court has ordered Apple to pay a hefty $368.32 million fine to patent and security firm VirnetX.

Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis's court found Apple infringed on networking patents held by VirnetX. The patents in question, focused on virtual private network technology, have apparently been used in Apple's FaceTime video calling feature. Use of the technology on Apple's iPhone, iPad and Mac computers were all called into question.

The patents in question cover use of a domain name service to set up a VPN, which a website owner can then use to connect securely to customers, or as a means to grant acces to files securely for employees working from home.

Apple contended that the patents were invalid, and denied any infringement. However, the U.S. court found that VirnetX's case -- filed in 2010 -- was valid, and awarded $368.2 million in damages, rather than the original $708 million the patent-holding firm sought.

Apple's representative, lawyer Danny Williams, told the jury that "VirnetX is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The VirnetX technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.” In closing statements, Virnet's lawyer Doug Cawley said:

"For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents. Apple says they don't infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system."

Following the verdict, VirnetX said it would seek a further order to block any future use of its patented technology.

This is not the first technology firm VirnetX has gone after. In its early days, the security firm patented a number of VPN-based technologies, and eventually won $200 million as a settlement from Microsoft. The company is currently suing a number of firms including Cisco, Avaya, and Siemens Enterprise.

Image credit: Brian Turner

Topic: Apple

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5 comments
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  • Bit rich

    coming from the same people that whined so much about other people using apple 'inventions'.

    "VirnetX is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The VirnetX technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.”

    Well, you reap what you sow and all that. It seems everyone in the tech market 'borrows' patented tech without much concern for the originally inventor.
    Little Old Man
    • And

      is this just asking for more patent owners to go after the big companies:

      "But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system."
      Little Old Man
      • Re: "But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to a

        That's standard practice. Because if it turns out you knew about the patent but went ahead anyway, then the infringement becomes wilful and the damages are tripled.
        ldo17
  • If upheld, Cisco's penalty will be huge; their whole business is about VPN

    Avaya and Siemens fines will be hefty, too.
    DDERSSS
  • Two-faced

    Um... Apple did not invent Siri, or universal search, or multitouch gestures or the standard tablet form factor or the rubberbanding bounce-back effect, and yet they feel they are entitled to money for these things based on alleged infringement. The hypocrisy is sickening.
    dorkistope