Apple Hit with $368 Million Judgment in VPN Patent Lawsuit from VirnetX
Bloomberg reports that VirnetX has been awarded a $368.2 million judgment against Apple in a 2010 patent lawsuit over virtual private networking (VPN) connectivity related to Apple's FaceTime video calling feature.
The VirnetX patents cover the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks, through which a website owner can interact with customers in a secure way or an employee can work at home and get access to a company’s electronic files. VirnetX had sought $708 million in damages.
“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.”
The technology was developed as part of work conducted by defense company SAIC on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, and VirnetX is a holding company created by former SAIC employees. VirnetX has indicated that it plans to seek a halt to continuing use of its technology by Apple, so it is unclear how the two parties will proceed toward a potential resolution that would keep FaceTime intact.