Microsoft will pay $ 106 million for patent infringement on VPN

    The Texas court again offended the world's largest IT corporation. Recently, Texas was banned from selling the MS Word program, and now they have sided with VirnetX in a deal worth $ 105.75 million. Microsoft will pay this amount as a fine for violating a patent for VPN (virtual private network) technology.

    The VirnetX lawsuit alleges that Microsoft Office Communicator includes technology that infringes patent No. 6,502,135 , and that Windows Meeting Space violates patent No. 7,188,180 . The court ruled that the plaintiff was right on both counts (a fine of $ 71.75 million for the first patent and $ 34 million for the second).

    Interestingly, VirnetX was founded in 2005, and acquired the corresponding patents in 2006. At the same time, technology inventors Edmund “Gif” Munger, Bob Short and others were recruited to the company’s staff. The company employs only 12 people - the inventors and lawyers themselves. Obviously, all this was done specifically to file a lawsuit against Microsoft. Perhaps the company can be called a patent troll, especially since they laid down the proceeds of this fine in their business plan back in September last year.

    The trial was quick: the hearing began on March 8 and has already ended. Obviously, the plaintiff's arguments were very convincing. According to eyewitnesses, the key evidence in court was the testimony of the inventors Edmund Manger and Bob Short themselves.

    This is Microsoft’s largest penalty since losing $ 300 million in a patent infringement lawsuit from i4i Inc. last year.

    According to Microsoft experts, this business can have a significant impact on the entire IT industry. A logical continuation will be licensing agreements or lawsuits against other companies using VPNs, including Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, AT&T, Juniper, Qualcomm, NEC and Verizon.

    However, the verdict of the Texas court will still be appealed to a higher court. Prior to this, an additional court hearing will be held to decide which Microsoft products should be temporarily withdrawn from sale. In general, a lot more news is expected in the next few months.

    via The Microsoft Blog

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