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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Solandri on 11/7/2012 4:20:29 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
That's why patent attorneys exist. Ignorance is not an excuse, especially for large companies with expensive lawyers.

Actually for patents, I'd say a violation based on ignorance is a strong reason to invalidate the patent.

Patents are supposed to be non-obvious to someone skilled in the art. If some engineer or researcher ignorant of a patent manages to duplicate it, then that's a pretty good indication that it's obvious. And the patent should be invalidated.

So ignorance is better than an excuse.


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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