updated 09:50 am EST, Mon November 7, 2011
VirnetX tries to force cash settlement through ITC
VirnetX revealed on Monday that its latest lawsuit against Apple was being joined by a matching International Trade Commission dispute. The complaint touches on the same VPN-related patent used in the main lawsuit and which VirnetX has tried to wield against large parts of the technology industry. It hopes not just to ban future iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac sales but to stop all marketing and sales around whatever is currently in stores should it win.
The company expects a formal ITC investigation to start on or near December 6 and is hoping for a trial in summer 2012.
ITC complaints often accompany patent lawsuits as bargaining tactics rather than genuine attempts to protect developments. As they tend to finish faster, a finding of a patent violation at the ITC can force a company into royalties or a settlement in roughly a year and a half versus multiple years for the lawsuit.
Although claiming to defend innovation, VirnetX's primary goal has always been cash, as it has been willing to accept lump sums instead of just royalties or product changes. It successfully pressed for a $200 million Microsoft settlement and has been focusing nearly all its efforts on larger companies more likely to be able and willing to pay large amounts, such as Cisco and NEC.