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VirnetX sues Apple, Cisco, NEC over patents

updated 09:15 am EDT, Thu August 12, 2010

VirnetX tries to profit on Apple's back

VirnetX continued its attempts at making lawsuits its business model by filing a patent complaint late yesterday against several technology companies. Aastra, Apple, Cisco and NEC have been accused of violating five patents relating to secure communications without having to input information. The Tyler-based, Eastern District of Texas suit alleges that all of Apple's iOS devices, as well as VoIP phones from the other companies, are copying technology patented between 2002 and 2009.

As part of the relief it wants from the case, VirnetX is hoping to get a preliminary injunction to ban the devices in question from shipping while the lawsuit is still active and a permanent ban if it can't come to a deal. Unspecified damages are also part of the claims.

VirnetX has gained a reputation based on recent activities as a patent troll. Although rare in the category for actually having products to offer, such as a secure connection SDK and a secure domain name service, most of its recent emphasis has been on its "patent licensing" business which has usually involved suing other companies and pressuring them into either royalties or flat settlements. Microsoft paid $200 million to VirnetX to settle two lawsuits relating to patents like those in the new case.

Courts in Marshall and Tyler in Texas are often chosen as the homes of patent trolling lawsuits as they have historically ruled in favor of companies making the accusations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Another web site had patents listed. I looked at the first one, 6,502,135, and it sounds like the normal operation of all networks. It was filed in February 2000. Not sure whether these guys were the original inventors or just the first to go through the patent process.

    "A plurality of computer nodes communicate using seemingly random Internet Protocol source and destination addresses. Data packets matching criteria defined by a moving window of valid addresses are accepted for further processing, while those that do not meet the criteria are quickly rejected. Improvements to the basic design include (1) a load balancer that distributes packets across different transmission paths according to transmission path quality; (2) a DNS proxy server that transparently creates a virtual private network in response to a domain name inquiry; (3) a large-to-small link bandwidth management feature that prevents denial-of-service attacks at system chokepoints; (4) a traffic limiter that regulates incoming packets by limiting the rate at which a transmitter can be synchronized with a receiver; and (5) a signaling synchronizer that allows a large number of nodes to communicate with a central node by partitioning the communication function between two separate entities."

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Texas Patent w****

    Another Texas patent w**** with no products or anything.
    Why don't they change the Patent laws? If you create a product you must actually use it and sell it in order for that product to actually acquire patent protection. That's the way the Patent protection should work.
    Patent lawsuits unless proof a of a real product from the Patent holder should be illegal to protect other companies that actually make real products. An idea can be thought up by many, only a few can actually make a real product and they are the ones that should get the rewards, not Patent whores.

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