Can Apple Fight Off This Lawsuit Glut?
A lawyer for VirnetX Holding (AMEX:VHC) has said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) should pay its client $708 million for using its patented virtual private network technology in the FaceTime video-calling application. VirnetX received $200 million in settlement from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2010 over a similar patent lawsuit.
The company has claimed Apple infringes on four of its patents covering the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks. “In 2009, Apple introduced a new way to use VPN-on-demand and they used VirnetX patents to make it work,” VirnetX lawyer Doug Cawley told U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis, according to Bloomberg. The technology was created after work by the firm SAIC to develop secure communication for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, according to VirnetX, which was formed by former employees of SAIC.
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Apple has said the patents in question are invalid. “We have been wrongly accused of infringement,” lawyer Eric Albritton told the jury on Apple’s behalf. “We do not use VirnetX technology. We owe zero.”
The four patents in the trial are being reviewed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after a request by Apple and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO). The case is scheduled for trial in March.
Apple has also been hit by a patent lawsuit over its FaceTime video calling application and iMessage text program by a Texas-based company. Intercarrier Communications filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia alleging the programs infringe on a single patent owned by it. The patent, titled Inter-Carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience, was granted to the company in 2006 and covers a system of routing messages across different carrier networks based on phone numbers.
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