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Apple suffers setback in new VirnetX patent suit over FaceTime

post #1 of 37
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As Apple gears up to defend itself against another lawsuit from patent holding firm VirnetX, the iPhone maker was dealt a blow late last week after the presiding judge issued a series of pre-trial rulings denying Apple's motion to preemptively invalidate some of VirnetX's patent claims and preventing the use of invalidity as a defense against others.

FaceTime


Apple had argued that a number of the claims being used against it were not specific enough to warrant patent protection, and thus should be invalidated under the "indefiniteness" standard. Among the disputed terms were "secure name service," "secure name," and "unsecured name."

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis rejected Apple's interpretations -- and denied the company's motion to strike the terms as indefinite -- following what is known as a Markman hearing, in which the court examines the meaning of specific key words or phrases in patent documents.

Separately, Davis ruled that Apple may not question the validity of any of the patent claims that were at issue in the last court battle between the two companies, which resulted in a $368 million judgement for VirnetX. Apple is free to use that defense against newly-asserted claims, however.

"We are extremely pleased with the court's rulings and we remain confident in the merits of our complaint against Apple," VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen said in a release. "We believe the court's Markman Order and motion ruling represents another significant step towards the successful resolution of this litigation."

VirnetX first sued Apple in 2011, alleging that FaceTime violates the former's secure communications patents. Following VirnetX's victory, Apple altered FaceTime's behavior to avoid infringement -- a move that is said to cost the companyas much as $2.4 million per month and has increased customer complaints -- but VirnetX believes that those changes were not enough.
post #2 of 37
Does it cost more to work around the patent than to pay royalties for using it? Even if it costs more to license than work around. isn't the customer satisfaction worth it?

I think Find My Friends also infringes on a similar VirnetX 4G security patent. When FMF was first introduced, it used to track one's friends in real time. Now it gives general locations and doesn't allow updates very often, even when done manually.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #3 of 37
Honestly, my FaceTime has never worked 100% since Apple made these changes. I too think Apple should just pay the royalties, rather than continued customer dissatisfaction.
post #4 of 37

Why is it Apple can't use software design in patents and everyone else gets too? Samsung and others get to easily design around Apple patents yet Apple can't even challenge the obvious non-specificity of the VirnetX patents? Without being specific VirnetX is getting away with saying words so general it's like patenting the word "tool" making any tool covered under their patents instead a hammer or screwdriver, two totally different types of tools. Apple has had to be extremely specific and comprehensive in their patents while other don't need to be. Add this judge to the list of Apple haters.

post #5 of 37
I believe Microsoft already pays VirnetX for a license. Anyone know if Google licenses?

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post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I believe Microsoft already pays VirnetX for a license. Anyone know if Google licenses?

[URL] http://virnetx.com/licensing/current-licensees/[/URL]
from that list, no
post #7 of 37
Wouldn't it just be cheaper for Apple to buy the company? Case closed.
post #8 of 37

Or cheaper to ask for a re-examination by the USPTO.

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I believe Microsoft already pays VirnetX for a license. Anyone know if Google licenses?

Isn't the infringing tech Skype and Facetime? Same with the Siemans and Mitel lawsuits, video conferencing/calling. Does Google have an equivalent product? Not sure if the Google-supported WebRTC feature operates the same of not. You can be pretty darn certain that if they do they'll hear from VirnetX too if they haven't already. That they weren't included in the most recent set of lawsuits (7 different defendents) might indicate that either (A) they are not infringing as far as VirnetX is concerned or (B) they're actively negotiating without a lawsuit required or (C) VirnetX is trying to determine what they might be able to get from WebRTC and whether it's worth it.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/11/14 at 10:10am
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post #10 of 37
VirnetX created secure software that Apple and others are illegally using. They even have it is product form This is not patent trolling. Facetime is the tip of the iceberg and Google/Android are going to also get hit big time.

Someone on staff do 15 minutes of due diligence then re-write this with some facts, please.

Signed, Red Delicious
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post #11 of 37

I know a lot of people think VirnetX is a patent troll, but they really aren't. What they are doing is perfectly legal. They own patents and think Apple infringes, and are going through the courts to get a determination.

 

Besides, Apple could never (because of their nature) ever fall victim to a patent troll. If VirnetX was a patent troll, they'd be sending demand letters to the users of FaceTime (perhaps small businesses or companies that rely on it for work) trying to get quick settlements (like Lodsys). Or file frivolous lawsuits hoping companies settle because it would be cheaper than paying legal fees.

 

Apple would never settle in this manner - they'd spend the money on legal fees and challenge the patent in court. This is exactly what patent trolls don't want - to have a court decide the validity of their claims - mainly because they wouldn't stand up in court.

 

It's highly likely that Apple has infringed patents by some holding companies somewhere. The sheer size of iOS and OS X and the complexity of many of their products makes it almost impossible to not have infringed someones IP. The key difference is if it's done intentionally (like Samsung and Google who regularly incorporate stolen IP) or accidentally (having your engineer think up the same idea as someone else did).

post #12 of 37
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Originally Posted by jgoryeb View Post

Wouldn't it just be cheaper for Apple to buy the company? Case closed.

Why would VirnetX sell? They have a massively profitable business model with many successfully prosecuted infringement cases.

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post #13 of 37
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Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post
 

Or cheaper to ask for a re-examination by the USPTO.

 

Not feasible. As with Samsung, just because a patent is being re-examined (and possibly rejected at early stages of this re-examination) does not make it invalid. It takes years for the final outcome, and during that time the patent is considered valid.

post #14 of 37
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Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Or cheaper to ask for a re-examination by the USPTO.

I think at this point that would be a dead end.

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post #15 of 37
Death to patent trolls.
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post #16 of 37
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Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Death to patent trolls.

They aren't patent trolls. If you own patents, you are 100% legally allowed to assert your ownership rights.

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post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

I know a lot of people think VirnetX is a patent troll, but they really aren't. What they are doing is perfectly legal. They own patents and think Apple infringes, and are going through the courts to get a determination.

Just what do you think a patent troll is? Legality doesn't not make you a patent troll. Buying patents you have no intention of employing in a product, and preventing others from doing so; sitting on it with the only purpose to sue those who infringe is being a patent troll. It is a perversion of the original purpose of patents.

Capitalism needs to clean up its act, getting rid of those who game the system while doing nothing to add value. Day trading, patent trolling, etc.
Edited by Robin Huber - 8/11/14 at 10:27am
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post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Not feasible. As with Samsung, just because a patent is being re-examined (and possibly rejected at early stages of this re-examination) does not make it invalid. It takes years for the final outcome, and during that time the patent is considered valid.

They've already encountered some USPTO inter-partes re-examinations and passed with flying colors, all claims intact. That's fairly unusual and probably speaks to how solid the claims are. Not sure why Apple is resisting a license so vehemently, tho perhaps $1 a device is too rich for their tastes and they'd prefer a one-time fee?
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post #19 of 37
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

They aren't patent trolls. If you own patents, you are 100% legally allowed to assert your ownership rights.

Patent trolling isn't illegal, just immoral.
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post #20 of 37

Because someday those patents will be worthless. Why not cash in now while they have some value and move on with your life instead of waiting out all the court battles. Maybe actually do something of value.

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


They aren't patent trolls. If you own patents, you are 100% legally allowed to assert your ownership rights.

 

Are you being deliberately obtuse or are you trolling yourself? 

post #22 of 37
I think all the reading for those whom think (VirnetX) is a true company are below:


http://anewdomain.net/2012/11/06/who-is-virnetx-apple-must-pay-300m-plus-breaking/

Also the coincidence that a company that held those patents in-question the very same ones asserted against Apple was turned by USPTO:

http://virnetx.com/virnetx-announces-favorable-termination-of-patent-review/

http://virnetx.com/virnetx-announces-denial-of-apples-petitions-for-patent-review/

Plus the association to SAIC to sue Apple:

http://www.saic.com/

They have moved into the cyberspace over last couple of years to "secure" cyberspace.
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 

 Add this judge to the list of Apple haters.

Actually, Judge Leonard Davis is considered one of the most knowledgeable judges on Patents in the country. Take a look into his record and find out how often his rulings have been overturned/remanded by CAFC.

 

 

It has nothing to do with him liking or not liking Apple. It has to do with the rule of law. In fact, Judge Davis has been known to rule in favor of Apple in the past . . . . http://www.ennisdailynews.com/statenews/judge-overturns-lawsuit-against-apple/

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


Just what do you think a patent troll is? Legality doesn't not make you a patent troll. Buying patents you have no intention of employing in a product, and preventing others from doing so; sitting on it with the only purpose to sue those who infringe is being a patent troll. It is a perversion of the original purpose of patents.

Capitalism needs to clean up its act, getting rid of those who game the system while doing nothing to add value. Day trading, patent trolling, etc.

 

Wrong. A patent is an asset. It can be bought & sold, rented out or locked away. It's up to the owners of a patent to decide how they want to use it.

 

And what are you talking about buying patents to prevent others from using them? Why would a NPE spend money on a patent and then never license it out? Who would throw away money like that? Their best bet at being profitable it to have a strong portfolio of useful patents that they can get on-going license fees from. Hoarding patents is the exact opposite of this.

post #25 of 37
For those here that do not understand,,,,,
Patent trolls will do this more and more until they have sucked every company that seeks to innovate dead. Given how the patent office gives patents to Apple then drops them at the drop of a hat but supports broad general BS patents that owners have never used is so sad indeed.

If Apple uses someones definitive patent technology, then fine. No issue. But its just a deep pockets issue. Apple has the money that they have earned and the trolls want it. If they offered to license the patent for a reasonable about of money, Apple would consider going for it. But the patent holder MUST protect their patent from every other patent holder that seeks to sue Apple for the same broad issue, They never agree to that. Its just a legal maneuver to make money. PERIOD.

But 99% of these cases are patents about " a gas that gives life and the organism that uses it to "burn" fuel" 300 million dollars please!!! Each of you readers should send me 50$ just for breathing before I sue you. Hurry, my greed is growing. LOL
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


Just what do you think a patent troll is? Legality doesn't not make you a patent troll. Buying patents you have no intention of employing in a product, and preventing others from doing so; sitting on it with the only purpose to sue those who infringe is being a patent troll. It is a perversion of the original purpose of patents.

Capitalism needs to clean up its act, getting rid of those who game the system while doing nothing to add value. Day trading, patent trolling, etc.

 

Who do you think created "the system"? That's right, people who have an interest in it. You're spouting fantasyland nonsense.

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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

For those here that do not understand,,,,,
Patent trolls will do this more and more until they have sucked every company that seeks to innovate dead. Given how the patent office gives patents to Apple then drops them at the drop of a hat but supports broad general BS patents that owners have never used is so sad indeed.

If Apple uses someones definitive patent technology, then fine. No issue. But its just a deep pockets issue. Apple has the money that they have earned and the trolls want it. If they offered to license the patent for a reasonable about of money, Apple would consider going for it. But the patent holder MUST protect their patent from every other patent holder that seeks to sue Apple for the same broad issue, They never agree to that. Its just a legal maneuver to make money. PERIOD.

But 99% of these cases are patents about " a gas that gives life and the organism that uses it to "burn" fuel" 300 million dollars please!!! Each of you readers should send me 50$ just for breathing before I sue you. Hurry, my greed is growing. LOL

 

Not that you're saying anything uncommon, but capitalism relies on private property ownership and notions of what constitutes "property" (as long as human beings are not part of the mix) continues to expand, which is good for markets.

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post #28 of 37
I agree that Apple should have bought VirnetX and not Beats.
Communication apps are a much better investment than hip-hop music apps and garish hardware (patents?).
 
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post #29 of 37

Apple should pay Virtnetx what it owes them and keep it out of the courts. This is bad publicity for Apple if they lose the case.

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


They aren't patent trolls. If you own patents, you are 100% legally allowed to assert your ownership rights.

If they bought patents and don't use them to manufacture anything, they are patent trolls.

post #31 of 37
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
If you own patents, you are 100% legally allowed to assert your ownership rights.

 

That doesn’t preclude them being patent trolls.

 

Remember: the definition of a patent troll is an entity that holds a patent not in physical or otherwise practical use.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That doesn’t preclude them being patent trolls.

Remember: the definition of a patent troll is an entity that holds a patent not in physical or otherwise practical use.

What time frame do you give them to use it?
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post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 

Why is it Apple can't use software design in patents and everyone else gets too? Samsung and others get to easily design around Apple patents yet Apple can't even challenge the obvious non-specificity of the VirnetX patents? Without being specific VirnetX is getting away with saying words so general it's like patenting the word "tool" making any tool covered under their patents instead a hammer or screwdriver, two totally different types of tools. Apple has had to be extremely specific and comprehensive in their patents while other don't need to be. Add this judge to the list of Apple haters.

There's an important difference between this case and Apple's litigation involving Samsung. This case is being adjudicated in East Texas.

post #34 of 37
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
What time frame do you give them to use it?

 

“As soon as infringement is reasonably suspected” with proof of the timeframe of discovery, I guess.

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The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

“As soon as infringement is reasonably suspected” with proof of the timeframe of discovery, I guess.

I meant how soon does a patent holder have to use their patent before they're considered a patent troll?
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post #36 of 37
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
I meant how soon does a patent holder have to use their patent before they're considered a patent troll?

 

Oh, as long as the patent is valid, of course. They become a troll only when they sue others about it without having used it themselves.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #37 of 37
Too bad Apple didn't buy VirnetX when they had that option. Quality and resolution of FaceTime calls has declined after last change... The service used to broadcast directly from device to device, but is now forced to go via servers. I do hope that Apple will manage to come up with a good solution that solves these patent issues and not at least improves the overall quality experience (!)...


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