VirnetX sues Apple again after winning $368M patent trial verdict

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Internet software and patent holding holding company VirnetX on Friday officially announced it is asserting four virtual private network patents, the same properties used to secure a $368 million award from Apple on Tuesday, against the Cupertino tech giant's latest products.

VirnetX Logo


As noted by The Next Web, VirnetX claims Apple's FaceTime infringes on its VPN patents, an assertion that a federal jury in Texas agreed with earlier this week when it ordered Apple to pay $368 million in damages.

According to court documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, VirnetX filed the new complaint on the same day it won the favorable jury decision. The most recent lawsuit takes aim at those Apple products which were not included in the previous suit due to their release dates, and include the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch and the "latest Macintosh computers." VirnetX is going after all Apple devices with FaceTime capabilities.

The same four VPN-related patents used in the previous suit are being leveraged in the new complaint, specifically U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135, 7,418,504, 7,921,211 and 7,490,151. VirnetX is looking to force a preliminary injunction against the alleged infringing Apple devices as well as damages related to their sale.

In 2010, Microsoft was ordered to pay VirnetX $200 million for violating two similar VPN patents, and the holdings firm is in the midst of ongoing litigation against Cisco Systems, Astra Technologies, and NEC Corporation.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81
    "VirnetX is looking to force a preliminary injunction against the alleged infringing Apple devices as well as damages related to their sale."



    Ouch, where's that "It's not about money it's about sending a message" Joker image when you need it.
  • Reply 2 of 81
    Ouch, something smells like patent troll here... "keep sueing as long as you're winning".
  • Reply 3 of 81
    1. Is this the same IP that MS paid $200m for?
    2. They have the same lawyer firm that Apple used for their IPO

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/16043/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]
  • Reply 4 of 81
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,960member


    So, this company doesn't have a single shipping product, yet Apple was ordered to pay $368million for allegedly infringing on patents that this company is trolling? 


    Oh, and what a disgusting logo. You can always tell which are the scam companies by the piece of shit logos that would be embarrassing if they cost even $10. 

  • Reply 5 of 81


    If you cannot prove your using it you should loose it (the patent)


    The Judge here should throw out these holding company cases as they are an insult to developers who take their idea and make it real. 


    Theory is cheap but to R&D a theory and make it real costs. 


    Perhaps Apple should counter claim with the costs of the R&D that took their so called theory and made it reality.

  • Reply 6 of 81
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by flabber View Post



    Ouch, something smells like patent troll here... "keep sueing as long as you're winning".


    You should at least go through and read up on it prior to making such a conclusion. It's difficult for me to believe that none of these methods of VPN access existed prior to this patent filing in the late '90s, but these have already been tested in court. Microsoft also fought them and lost. As much as I typically abhor software patents, there may have been some real R&D here. VPNs obviously existed prior to that. Given their victories, I suspect there's a lot of detail to research. I also hate some of the obvious crap Apple tries to patent (not all of which is granted).


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    1. Is this the same IP that MS paid $200m for?

    2. They have the same lawyer firm that Apple used for their IPO



    It's at least the same company.

  • Reply 7 of 81


    I thought that patents were to protect one's product from being copied by another product - so that one can benefit from the unimpeded sale of one's product. If a company has no shipping product, how is it possible that its sales can be affected? 



    I support some sort of fair payment to recognise prior development - based on and reflecting the original costs of development; but punitive payments, or payments based on Apple's sales, are outrageous and do not reflect proportion or fairness. In this instance Apple's use of the technology did not in any way affect the sales of any product of VirnetX using that technology.



    In other words (again), if Apple didn't use the technology VirnetX wouldn't earn any more money from protected sales of their own product - because they have no product.  


     


    Is it known whether Apple offered to make a payment of some sort reflecting costs of development - and not based on volumes or revenues of Apple's products, real products that people buy? 

  • Reply 8 of 81
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pembroke View Post


    I thought that patents were to protect one's product from being copied by another product - so that one can benefit from the unimpeded sale of one's product. If a company has no shipping product, how is it possible that its sales can be affected? 



    In other words (again), if Apple didn't use the technology VirnetX wouldn't earn any more money from protected sales of their own product - because they have no product. 



    Apple has sued Samsung over design patents that they themselves don't use for a shipping product. According to you that's unfair?

  • Reply 9 of 81
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,804member


    Keep in mind that we were giddy when a jury found Samsung guilty of patent infringement. Now a jury has found Apple guilty and we're incensed. I'm just saying.

  • Reply 10 of 81
    kpomkpom Posts: 601member
    Might Apple be better off making a "strategic acquisition"? After all, it appears that this company's IP lawsuits stick, if Microsoft also had to pay up.
  • Reply 11 of 81
    No, the U.S. patent system isn't broken at all!
  • Reply 12 of 81
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    If you cannot prove your using it you should loose it (the patent)
    slurpy wrote: »
    So, this company doesn't have a single shipping product, yet Apple was ordered to pay $368million for allegedly infringing on patents that this company is trolling? 

    Speaking of trolls, how about the people who don't have any concept of how patent law works who keep making up arguments against "patent trolls".

    This has been discussed ad nauseam previously. There is absolutely nothing in US Patent law which requires the inventor to exercise their patent in order to protect it. If there were, small inventors would be out of the game. There are many, many inventions which it would be impossible for a small inventor to practice - so you'd essentially make it impossible for many inventors to profit from their inventions.

    Same as a factory owner. If I own a factory that makes widgets and decide not to manufacture widgets for some reason, is it OK for GM or Ford or GE to move into the factory and start making widgets because I'm not using it? Of course not. So why should intellectual property be any different?
    pembroke wrote: »
    I thought that patents were to protect one's product from being copied by another product - so that one can benefit from the unimpeded sale of one's product. If a company has no shipping product, how is it possible that its sales can be affected? 

    Start by learning about patent law. Patents are not about protecting unimpeded sale of a product. Patents are an exclusive right to exercise the invention. If I invent something and then patent it, no one else has the right to use that invention without a license from me. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether I am selling a competing product or not.
  • Reply 13 of 81
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Apple has sued Samsung over design patents that they themselves don't use for a shipping product. According to you that's unfair?

    Let me get this straight, Apple had lawsuits against Samsung for patents that Apple never used in a shipping product at some point? Or are you suggesting that if Samsung et al. copies a previous generation design of an Apple product, regardless of how close it is, that it should be allowed because it's no longer a currently shipping product?
  • Reply 14 of 81
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Let me get this straight, Apple had lawsuits against Samsung for patents that Apple never used in a shipping product at some point? 


    Correct. Find where Apple says they're practicing the community design they claimed against Samsung in the UK or Germany or ever used it for an actual product. Same question for the US design patents they claimed Samsung to infringe on smartphones and tablets.

  • Reply 15 of 81
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,799member
    I'm concerned about these VPN patents but many for Cisco. They haven't been sued yet and they are one of the largest distributors of VPN software and hardware. I can't imagine that Cisco wouldn't be able to invalidate these patents. Maybe that's why they haven't been sued. Once they try, Cisco will take them down but not before Virnetx collects a lot of money.

    As far as Samsung's abusing of Apple patents, they knew they were using them. If you read some of the Virnetx patents, they start out by saying, "A tremendous variety of methods have been proposed and implemented to provide security and anonymity for communications over the Internet." I agree so what makes your version patentable? Their first claim starts with, "A method of transparently creating a virtual private network (VPN) between a client computer and a target computer, ..." That's how VPN works and I'm confident Virnetx didn't "invent" VPN or we wouldn't be having these lawsuits. Apple has been using VPN software for years, why wasn't this lawsuit brought earlier.
  • Reply 16 of 81


    Ugh, Apple really needs a page where they list each product. Click it and it shows you a linked list of all the patents it uses. 


     


    That would really clean up a lot of these claims, both in invalidating some and making it easier for others to say, "Hey, this patent of Apple's is just like ours that we're pretending we got earlier. Let's sue."


     


    Maybe some third party has compiled a list of (assumed) per-device patents.

  • Reply 17 of 81
    New law. You create a patent, it just be used in a working product made by you (or a hardware partner) within 3-5 years. If you can't do it, it is automatically licensed at a fair rate (I don't know what fair would be).
  • Reply 18 of 81


    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

    New law. You create a patent, it just be used in a working product made by you (or a hardware partner) within 3-5 years. If you can't do it, it is automatically licensed at a fair rate (I don't know what fair would be).


     


    Hmm. With the "or a hardware partner" and "is licensed" parts, that's much better than many people's "solution" to the patent troll problem.

  • Reply 19 of 81
    Is it even called Macintosh any more? I mean, officially? I haven't heard that used since before the iMac was unveiled over a decade before, and Steve scrapped the older product line.
  • Reply 20 of 81
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post



    New law. You create a patent, it just be used in a working product made by you (or a hardware partner) within 3-5 years. If you can't do it, it is automatically licensed at a fair rate (I don't know what fair would be).


    That's pretty much the letter of the law in Australia. Unfortunately other laws make it's enforcement a problem.

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