If you’re not familiar with the name VirnetX, you should be. The Internet security software and technology company (also known as a patent troll) has filed a patent infringement suit against every major tech company in the business, including Apple.
In fact, last fall Apple was ordered to pay VirnetX a staggering $368 million after a Texas jury found the iPad-maker guilty of infringing on its IP. And the battle is far from over, as the security firm just announced that it’s been awarded two new patents…
“VirnetX™ Holding Corporation (NYSE MKT:VHC), an Internet security software and technology company, announced today that it has been granted two new patents, U.S. Patent No. 8,504,696 (“‘696 patent”), System and Method Employing an Agile Network Protocol for Secure Communications Using Secure Domain Names, and U.S. Patent No. 8,504,697 (“‘697 patent”), System and Method Employing an Agile Network Protocol for Secure Communications Using Secure Domain Names, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”
The company also announced today that it has filed papers with a US District Court in East Texas to add charges to its currently-pending suit against Apple involving its new ‘679 patent. Infringing products include the iPhone 5, 5th gen iPod touch, iPad 4, iPad mini and late-model Mac computers.
The claims will be added to VirnetX’s latest lawsuit against Apple, which was filed last fall in an East Texas district court, that involves virtual private networking (VPN) tech. Apple at one time planned on tweaking the VPN behavior in its devices in light of the lawsuit, but it has since backtracked.
Here’s VirnetX comment on the new patents:
“We are very pleased to add these new patents to our patent portfolio,” said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO and President. “Our patent portfolio consists of quality, essential patents and we believe these new patents will strengthen our ongoing licensing efforts to the mobile markets.”
To be honest, this whole thing kind of makes me cringe. I know Apple sues other companies over IP, but patent-holding firms like VirnetX make their living off of this stuff—stuff they didn’t invent themselves. There’s a reason why they only do business in East Texas—a known haven for patent trolls.
In addition to its Apple litigation, VirnetX currently has a number of other ongoing lawsuits with high profile tech companies including Microsoft, which it’s already won close to $100 million from, Microsoft’s Skype arm, and Cisco. The system is broken.