Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to pay damages to VirnetX (VHC) for patent violations

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), which is trigger-happy when it comes to suing other companies for patent violations, for once found itself at the receiving end when a court found it guilty of violating the patents of a software firm VirnetX Holding Corporation(NYSEAMEX:VHC).

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VirnetX had sued Apple alleging that the company had violated the patents on a particular technology for creating a virtual private network between computers and another solving DNS security issues.

A Texas court, where the compliant was filed by the software firm, ruled that Apple liable to pay $368 million in damages to VirnetX.

The focus of the trial was Facetime, an application that allows users of Apple devices to chat to each other using video. VirnetX had alleged that Facetime video calls had infringed on its patents.

For VirnetX, this is not the first time that it has won a lawsuit against a high profile company. About a couple of years back, it had won about $106 million from Microsoft for patent violations.

VirnetX has a separate case against Apple pending with the International Trade Commission and it has court cases against Cisco, Avaya and Siemens scheduled for trial next year.

“For years Apple refused to pay fair value for the VirnetX patents,” Doug Cawley, a lawyer at McKool Smith, said in closing arguments, according to Bloomberg. “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.”

Shares of VHC soared 22% in Wednesday’s session.

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