VirnetX – An internet patent holding firm that really likes to screw over tech companies with deep pockets, is apparently looking to make Apple pay up a pretty penny ($532 million!) over an alleged patent infringement dispute.
According to Bloomberg, VirnetX is taking the offensive against apple because they claim that the company has been using their patented technology for secure communications. Get what that means? Me neither, so let’s explain further. VirnetX holds various online patents for VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks), a technology that allows a website owner to interact with customers securely or allowing an employee to work at home and access company files. And they have been on an ongoing battle with Apple, claiming that the company has been using this technology of theirs, going as far as to say that features like Facetime and iMessage, are also examples of infringement.
A lawyer from VirnetX told the jury in the Eastern District of Texas the following:
Apple hasn’t played fair. They have taken Virnetx’s intellectual property without permission.”
This is actually not the first time that VirnetX has gone to trial with Apple. Back in 2012, VirnetX won $368 million in damages. However, that was overturned during an appeal court, and so this in now a retrial of those past issues but now with additions of new formed issues brought up by VirnetX.
Moreover, this is not the first time that VirnetX has gone to trial with a tech heavyweight. They have previously attacked Microsoft with similar claims against Skype and other Microsoft features, leaving the company to pay millions upon millions for the settlement. This is a troll company that you really don’t want to mess with.
Apple lawyer, Greg Arovas, has come back with the following statement:
Apple believes in fairness and protecting intellectual property…VirnetX keeps moving the boundary, asking for more and more and more.”
According to Bloomberg, the trial is expected to go through next week and will explore if Apple is using VirnetX’ patented technology through their applications.