Patent troll VirnetX adds latest iOS devices and Macs to Apple lawsuit

By , Nov 9, 2012

Hot on the heels of the $368 million payout in the FaceTime suit, patent holding firm VirnetX is trolling Apple again, this time with claims that both the iPhone 5 and iPad mini infringe upon four patents. Both devices, along with the latest iPod and Macs, were added to the lawsuit. Just like the Facetime case could result in a ban of the iPhone 4S, this latest wrinkle might put sales of Apple’s newest products in jeopardy ahead of the fast-approaching holiday season…

The four patents that VirnetX alleges Apple infringed upon cover secure Internet communications: U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135 , 7,418,504 , 7,921,211 and 7,490,151.

VirnetX wrote in a media release:

In its complaint, VirnetX seeks both damages and injunctive relief.

The accused products include the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 4th Generation, iPad mini, and the latest Macintosh computers.

Due to their release dates, these products were not included in the previous lawsuit that concluded with a Jury verdict on November 6, 2012.

Earlier this week, Apple was found liable of patent infringement in a Texas court and the federal jury awarded VirnetX a cool $368 million in damages.

Apple is expected to appeal.

Not surprisingly, the Zephyr Cove, Nevada-based VirnetX used the patent plaintiff-friendly Eastern District court in Tyler to file its complaint. Patent owners turn to Eastern Texas like corporations turn to Delaware – both reliably produce favorable court judgements.

VirnetX is fast becoming labelled a “patent troll” akin to Lodsys, a firm whose main product is lawsuits against deep-pocked defendants.

Brian Barrett of Gizmodo writes:

VirnetX is not a company that, strictly speaking, makes things. It is, instead, a company that collects patents the way joyless millionaires collect hermetically sealed comic books: for profit.

It’s unclear what the patent holding company has to gain by seeking both damages and “injunctive relief” in its case against Apple.

Usually, patent firms pester other companies for lucrative licensing arrangements. While the $368 million Apple would pay is just walking-around money for the goliath, the amount is nearly ten times that what VirnetX reportedly makes.

The only reason I can see for the patent company to seek a sales ban of Apple products is to squeeze more cash from the iPhone maker in exchange for not slowing holiday sales. Of course, Apple could solve the whole issue by cutting a check and buying its courtroom annoyance.

Should Apple just write a cheque to VirnetX?

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  • Gerard Hampton

    So apple can do it but no one else can? lol typical

    • MPD01605

      There’s a difference when you’re a company making products and you have patents and want to protect those patents, and when you’re a company who just buys patents with the sole intent to sue other companies.
      That said, the whole patent thing is completely stupid by anybody but that’s a product of the system.

      • Ben

        Nice one… Well said

    • JamesR624

      As soon as I saw the headline for this, I groaned. Really iDownloadBlog? You’re turning into the Fox News of Apple.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Childs/1067107105 Matthew Childs

        they are patent trolls though so it is still accurate. and this isn’t a NEWS site with politics and such…it’s a BLOG about a tech company and its products. of course a blog is going to have a bias, they all do.i expect that from blogs. now if this were abc, nbc or any NEWS outlet then i’d have an issue with the bias.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

      My thoughts exactly. Yes the company only has patents, but guess what, that’s how our system works. It’s childish and immature, but Apple has used this tactic too.

  • Blake

    They should just buy the little pest.

  • ic0dex

    Well I’m going to sue VirnetX because I hold the TM, C and R all that other shit to that name. I filed that name as a business 15 years ago :p I want $10,000,000,001

    • iUser2012

      I hope you did not use rounded rectangle design, then Apple might sue you for that as well :P

      • Ben

        lol…lol… nice one too… if Apple finds out he/she sued the company that sued her, maybe they will let it go. By the way Apple only sued giant companies…not individuals…

    • Ben

      Wow!!! You should, totally. Maybe they can learn a lesson or two. People work hard to make soemthing good for others only for some illitrates to rip money off them…

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    If a system of patents is broken enough that you can start to patent everything you can think of and then just sit and wait until someone is in deep with the tech you patented and then cash in it time to get down and fix it.

    But well, if the US is not willing to repair it…..

  • Gorgonphone

    lol oh well if you use someones.. stuff and they catch you iji guess you have to pay… apple can easily afford to pay so no b

  • Apple morons

    So if apple gets sue it’s patent trolling however if apple sues other compnay for ridiculous reason it’s fine .. U I sheep are bunch of hypocrites .. Get a life

  • iUser2012

    As you sow, so you shall reap!

    Apple tried to do same to Samsung. Now others do it to Apple.

    It looks like execution of a legal right under currently flawed patent system and that would be inaccurate to call one party as troll and other as a better company, despite it recently patented rounded rectangle and tries to use it against its rivals.

    Patent system becomes a way of abuse and prevents public to have better products and services, as companies who lag behind competing rivals with their offerings turn to patent lawsuits for preposterous claims, despite some might be found legally admissible.