Apple's patent suit loss to VirnetX forces VPN behavior changes

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Following a $368 million judgment against Apple in a patent infringement case, the iPhone maker will make changes to VPN behavior in iOS 6.1.

facetime
Apple's FaceTime, judged to have infringed on VirnetX patents.


Apple announced this week that it would be changing the behavior of VPN ON Demand for iOS devices using iOS 6.1 and later. Those devices with VPN On Demand configured to "Always" will instead behave as if they were configured for "Establish if needed." VPN On Demand connections will only be established if a device cannot resolve the DNS name of a host.

Apple will push out the update that will bring the change later in April.

The change to VPN handling stems from a $368 million judgment against Apple, wherein a federal jury in Texas found that the iPhone maker had violated the patents of VirnetX. VirnetX holds U.S. Patent No. 8,05,181 for a "Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of Virtual Private Network."

The offending software is Apple's FaceTime, which is featured on millions of iPads, iPhones, and iPods, as well as many recent Mac computers.

Virnet initially filed suit in November of 2011, on the same day that the company was awarded the patent.

Apple had appealed the court's decision, but a U.S. District Court judge in late February upheld the ruling. In deciding, the judge also denied Apple's request for another trial.

On the day that a Texas jury handed down VirnetX's $368 million judgment, the company filed suit against Apple again, adding the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini, fifth-generation iPod touch, and "the latest Macintosh computers" to its claim.

[Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the U.S. District Court had barred Apple from appealing the $368 million decision. In fact, the judge in the case turned down Apple's motion for another trial.]

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,383member
    Apple should have brought its case against Samsung in Texas.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    So is Apple really using their [I]method[/I]? If so, can someone explain why Apple didn't have the VPN [I]method[/I] needed already?
  • Reply 3 of 18


    You'll need to ask Tim Cook about that. It's not like they haven't had many months to prepare an alternative.

  • Reply 4 of 18
    seanrseanr Posts: 15member
    How can a judge bar you from appealing your case?
  • Reply 5 of 18
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post


    You'll need to ask Tim Cook about that. It's not like they haven't had many months to prepare an alternative.



    Not sure TC would be the person to grill about this. image

  • Reply 6 of 18
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member


    I am little confused here. Is FaceTime related to the lawsuit? I see it mentioned in the article but no further details were given.

  • Reply 7 of 18
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,086member
    "Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of Virtual Private Network."

    Apple's swipe to open was declared invalid in Germany, what's keeping Apple from pushing for the same thing on this "method?" How can a method be patented anyway? The first person to patent a method means nobody else can use the same method without paying for it? We're not talking about a product, we're talking about a sequence of coding. If all Apple has to do is make one little process change, then this patent is worthless and means nothing. I should patent how I walk, forcing everyone else to pay me or walk slightly differently. That's all this patent is.

    Apple started suing other companies for little things because they were being sued for little things (like this). This insanity has got to stop. The lawyers and judges would disagree because it's keeping them in business.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    This just means that Apple will have to invent a new way to do this, and of course, patent it. There's more than one way to make things happen. This ruling simply forces a different approach. Possibly, a better approach.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    So is Apple really using their method? If so, can someone explain why Apple didn't have the VPN method needed already?


     


    From what I understand from Apple website about this is that it related to "On Demand" VPN connection. They will remove this feature and instead you will have to turn it on manually in the setting. Apple says they will find another way to do it.

  • Reply 10 of 18
    They should have have just bought the company through a hostal takeover companies do this all the time and they have more cash than GOD
  • Reply 11 of 18

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by marko1357 View Post



    They should have have just bought the company through a hostal takeover companies do this all the time and they have more cash than GOD


    How would taking over a type of Spanish lodging have helped them?

  • Reply 12 of 18
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by marko1357 View Post



    They should have have just bought the company through a hostal takeover companies do this all the time and they have more cash than GOD


    How would taking over a type of Spanish lodging have helped them?





    The problem is that God doesn't need the money, and the money doesn't make Apple God. They would do well to remember that.  It seems somewhat incongruous to scream at Samsung for stealing Apples Patents, and to scream at VirnetX and the courts when they find against apple. The size of the award against apple is not too far off what Apple won against Samsung. But I guess that's all fallout from going thermonuclear and using trivial patents to fight competitors in the courts rather than through innovation and slugging it out in the marketplace. What goes around comes around, and its good so.

  • Reply 13 of 18
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by marko1357 View Post



    They should have have just bought the company through a hostal [sic] takeover companies do this all the time and they have more cash than GOD


    VHC Mtk cap 842.68M


     


    They have to pay more than a third of the value of the entire company's net worth in the judgement, but they would probably need to pay a 50% premium to acquire the company outright.

  • Reply 14 of 18
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member


    NVMND

  • Reply 15 of 18
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,589member
    VirnetX is nothing more than a patent troll. Check out their website at www.VirnetX.com - all their news items are about lawsuits and patent licensing agreements - another company that makes nothing but sucks your blood through a place called East Texas.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post



    VirnetX is nothing more than a patent troll. .


     


    VirnetX is not what most people would think of as a troll... that is, a company which did not invent the patents it's using.


     


    VirnetX was formed by people who originally invented secure communications for the CIA, and they continue to invent.

  • Reply 17 of 18
    ajmasajmas Posts: 558member
    VirtnetX describes themselves as a patent holding company. Is this just another patent troll then?
  • Reply 18 of 18
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

    Is this just another patent troll then?


     


    Yeah.

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