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  (Source: The Week)
Appeals are undoubtedly in the works

Apple has been involved in a legal battle with a company called VirnetX over alleged patent infringement involving FaceTime video calling features. VirnetX is the same company that won $200 million in a settlement from Microsoft in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas heard the case. This district court is commonly used for patent infringement suits in the tech world, and in this case, VirnetX alleged that FaceTime was violating four of its patents relating to private networks. The case specifically targeted the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad along with Mac computers.

The patents at the core of the case have to do with the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks allowing website owners to interact with customers securely. VirnetX was seeking $708 million in damages.
 
The company was awarded damages in the amount of $368.2 million.

“For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents,” Doug Cawley, a lawyer with McKool Smith in Dallas who represents VirnetX, said in closing arguments. “Apple says they don’t infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.”

“Apple does not owe money to VirnetX,” Danny Williams, a lawyer with Williams, Morgan & Amerson in Houston who represents Apple, told the jury. “VirnetX is not entitled to money for things they did not invent. The VirnetX technology, if used, is a small part of very large, complex products.”

VirnetX and Apple have another case pending before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. VirnetX also has claims pending against Cisco Systems, Avaya Inc. and Siemens Enterprise Communications that will begin in March.

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: No suprise
By kleinma on 11/7/2012 10:04:19 AM , Rating: 2
I am no Apple fan, but this is the same company Microsoft paid 200 million too a few years ago over patents as well.

I like Apple getting a taste of its own medicine, but this medicine is really starting to taste like shit for the rest of us. The consumers end up being the biggest losers in all these patent wars.


RE: No suprise
By xti on 11/7/2012 10:05:37 AM , Rating: 3
same here... sadly as long as apple is getting the blunt end, people will think its ok.

patent system is in full abuse mode, thats the story.


RE: No suprise
By Motoman on 11/7/2012 10:47:15 AM , Rating: 5
Yes, the whole patent system and related judicial system needs to be completely rebooted.

Having said that, the karma when Apple is getting their a$$ handed to them is just awesome.


RE: No suprise
By bupkus on 11/7/2012 1:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
I find it humorous to hear Apple described as the target of patent trolling and those who would say there are others who will think it okay since Apple is the victim.

Colonel (Tim Cook) Kurtz: The Irony... The Irony...


RE: No suprise
By RufusM on 11/7/2012 1:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
While it's ironic Apple is now the victim of software design patents instead of the aggressor, software patents are still a horrible idea. I fear this will get much, much worse before it gets any better.

Software is written like a book and should be copyrighted. Like a book, software should not be patentable. Just imagine if someone patented a black rectangular book then started suing everyone who published a black book. It's not the design which makes software unique, it's the underlying code and implementation.


RE: No suprise
By hiscross on 11/7/2012 3:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
The US Patent and Copy Weite offices are operated by the government. The government doesn't make anything, but policy and laws. Both of which are created by people who can't nor will ever be able to make anything. Music and movies are copy write protected by the law, but are stolen at will.The best way for any company to stop the thief of their products is to spot making them. Then let the non-thinkers (47%) or anyone who can't create or build anything make things work.


RE: No suprise
By Manch on 11/7/2012 3:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's not the design which makes software unique, it's the underlying code and implementation.


huh?


RE: No suprise
By RufusM on 11/7/2012 5:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
My point is that two software applications performing the same function could look the same, but the code underneath can be completely different. It's code that makes the implementation of a given design unique when it comes to software. Code is written in a language so it should fall under copyright law, not patent law.

For example, if I wrote application scrolling software from scratch that performs a bounce back animation when it reaches the end of the scroll section, my code would be be very different from, say, Apple's code. The effect would be the same but my implementation would be completely different from theirs.


RE: No suprise
By Manch on 11/8/2012 4:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh OK, That makes more sense.


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