Apple to Pay VirnetX $368 Million after Losing FaceTime Lawsuit
November 7, 2012 9:40 AM
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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.
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RE: Fun with words
11/7/2012 10:13:09 AM
That wasn't really the point I was trying to make. My point is that Apple will try to argue a position that they are owed massive amounts of money for tiny design patents utilized in a competitor's product, and the position that if they inadvertently used someone else's technology in the scope of a large product that it doesn't matter because it isn't significant. It needs to be either one or the other. If they want to push patent battles, then they need to accept that they're going to be gnawed on by the trolls. If they want to innovate stuff without getting snowed under in crap, they need to grant the same privilege to other companies. The attitude of being above the system while using the system just cost them their latest lawsuit against Google, you'd think they'd learn a lesson.
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