It seems Apple and the word “patent” is never too far away these days. In the past 48 hours Apple were granted a patent for its now-instantly-recognizable rectangular icons with rounded edges, pretty much the bone of contention in its $1 billion lawsuit against Samsung. Unfortunately, Apple has just been on the receiving end of another patent lawsuit – and surprise, surprise, it wasn’t by the Korean giants.
A little-known company called VirnetX has just been awarded $368.2 million in damages at a patent lawsuit trial yesterday, after the court found Apple guilty of infringing on VirnetX’s patents involving virtual private network (VPN) technology in its FaceTime application, which is used in almost all of Apple’s smart devices.
During the trial, Apple’s lawyers argued that the VPN technology used in FaceTime is different from those patented by VirnetX, rendering the lawsuit invalid. The court, however, decided otherwise, and Apple is widely expected to appeal.
Interestingly, most of VirnetX’s patents were based on its work done for the CIA to develop secure communications. If Apple infringed on these patents, perhaps they might just be keeping its customers’ security in mind. Perhaps.
(Photo source: headlinesfortoday.blogspot.com)