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November 7, 2012

US court asks Apple to pay $368m to VirnetX for patent infringement

VirnetX initially sought more than $700m in damages

By CBR Staff Writer

A Texas court in the US has ordered Apple to pay $368.2m in damages to security software company VirnetX for infringing the company’s networking patents.

The court found that Apple infringed VirnetX patents for virtual-private-network technology used in its FaceTime video-calling function.

VirnetX, which initially sought over $700m in damages from the iPhone maker, accused Apple of infringing four patents related to private networks and targeted Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad as well as Mac computers that use the FaceTime function.

VirnetX lawyer Doug Cawley was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that: "For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents."

"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," Cawley said.

According to the Financial Times, VirnetX claims 45 patents in the US and abroad relating to real-time communications and other security technologies.

The company has also filed a complaint against the iPhone maker to the US International Trade Commission alleging unfair trade practices.

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VirnetX said it would seek a further order to block any future use of its patented technology and Apple is anticipated to appeal the Texas jury’s verdict.

Prior to Apple, Microsoft paid $200m to VirnetX in 2010 to settle a lawsuit and licence its patents after the company lost in court.

Currently, VirnetX also has infringement patent cases against Cisco, Avaya and Siemens which are scheduled be heard in March next year.

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