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: This comment say it for all developers....
11/7/2012 7:19:59 PM
Just because you can find a patent does not mean you are going to read all the patents to find out if your new project will infringe. If anything it is proof that the developers did not steal the IP, since they invented it without the patent or seeing anyone else do it. Sounds like an obvious solution to me.
The fact is that these patents are not new or novel, they take existing ideas and technologies which are then combine in obvious and simple ways. They did not make a new way of doing things, they just made it so no one can do that anymore.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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