When $368.2 Million Isn’t Enough – VirnetX Files Yet Another, Similar Patent Suit Against Apple

When $368.2 Million Isn’t Enough – VirnetX Files Yet Another, Similar Patent Suit Against Apple

A couple of days ago, Cult of Mac reported that Apple had been successfully sued by an internet security software company, resulting in a $368.2 million damages award due the patent holders. Apparently, that award sum just wasn’t enough, as VirnetX has filed another complaint, claiming that Apple willfully infringed four patents.

As if another suit isn’t enough of a craziness, these are the same exact patents that were involved in the first suit. This time, the suing company says, they complaint includes the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, and the latest iPod touch, products that were not yet released when the initial complaint was filed.

In essence, VirnetX is saying that since its first suit was upheld, the new devices that also, in its view, infringe the same patents regarding Apple’s implementation of Facetime. The company is seeking additional damages as a sales ban on any products found to be infringing.

VirnetX has some success in suing larger patent cases and winning, like its settlement with Microsoft in 2010 in which the Redmond tech company was ordered to pay $200 million for two patents VirnetX owned. The company is currently in court with Cisco and Avaya, and has use the threat of legal action to settle licensing agreements with other firms in the past as well.

Apple, of course, has filed for reexamination of the four patents in its current case with the internet software security company with the US Patent Office and, according to the Verge, has filed a motion questioning the previous trial’s outcome.

  • dcdevito

    how’s it taste?

  • technochick

    East Texas 99.9% of the time finds for the plaintiff. The first case will likely be flipped in appeal in another district.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Those of you that wonder about taste…the only difference was Apple and Samsung are in the same business together actually building those products out. Whereas this patent troll company is just sitting back and hoping that someone violates their patents, which the products have been out for awhile and they are only now getting to filing suits? It’s more sketchy what they are doing. Also I remember reading somewhere early on that Apple and Samsung had discussed the licensing of the various patents, which many big companies due all the time with each other, Samsung just gave them the finger and went without licensing anything.

  • CharilaosMulder

    how’s it taste?

    Yeah why not join Android. We really love to prey for great developers to release their apps on Android. We also love to prey for Samsung or HTC to finally update the OS months after release. In the meantime, we can enjoy the beautiful branding on the front of our plastic phones. Or thank Google that we’re forced to have a Google account, with which Google has so much “fun” that the company is “generous enough” to give us all their services for free, while selling our privacy.

    Not sure how some homescreen widgets are going to help all that.

  • jahsoul
    how’s it taste?

    Or thank Google that we’re forced to have a Google account, with which Google has so much “fun” that the company is “generous enough” to give us all their services for free, while selling our privacy.

    Not sure how some homescreen widgets are going to help all that.

    *voice of objectivity stepping in*

    What is an iPhone without apps? In the same line of thinking, what do you need before any app can be downloaded? That’s right; an iTunes account..lol. That point is null and void considering you can’t really do much in iOS without an iTunes account.

    I actually use products from both Google and Apple (Galaxy Nexus, iPod Touch, Mac Pro) so I figure I’m one here with an objective viewpoint.

  • bri_maher

    I think patent laws should be changed so that instead of having to “protect” your patent in order to keep it – you should have to be actively “using” the technology it covers, in order to keep it.

    That would stop these stupid patent trolls.

  • dcdevito
    how’s it taste?

    Yeah why not join Android. We really love to prey for great developers to release their apps on Android. We also love to prey for Samsung or HTC to finally update the OS months after release. In the meantime, we can enjoy the beautiful branding on the front of our plastic phones. Or thank Google that we’re forced to have a Google account, with which Google has so much “fun” that the company is “generous enough” to give us all their services for free, while selling our privacy.

    Not sure how some homescreen widgets are going to help all that.

    What the hell was all that blabber about exactly?

  • Eitot

    I think patent laws should be changed so that instead of having to “protect” your patent in order to keep it – you should have to be actively “using” the technology it covers, in order to keep it.

    That would stop these stupid patent trolls.

    But it would also hamper with innovation. The idea behind patents is to give inventors an incentive to disclose their inventions in exchange for a limited, exclusive use. Whether these inventions are actually used depends on a variety of factors, such as viability and profitability. It could take a couple of years before patents can be turned into profitable use. Note also that not every patent holder is interested in exploiting the invention, but rather licensing it to other companies. Sometimes it is not a bad thing if a third party controls important patents instead of directly competing companies. I don’t think a requirement of usage is a good solution.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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