Right after their $368 million victory against Apple, patent troll VirnetX is suing them again with claiming the iPhone 5 and iPad mini infringe on four of their patents.
Previously the VirnetX Holding Corporation sued Apple because the iPhone 4S infringed on its “Method for Establishing Secure Communication Link Between Computers of Virtual Private Network” patent. This same patent is now being used against the iPhone 5. They’ve added the latest iPod and Macs to their suit.
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.
VirnetX is trying the case in Eastern District court in Texas. It is to patent lawsuits what Delaware is to corporations – very friendly. By all account VernetX doesn’t actually produce anything and its earnings are solely on the back of patent lawsuits they’ve acquired. Honestly, Brian Barrett of Gizmodo summed it up so perfectly I have to quote him.
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.
While the previous $368 million is a drop in the bucket for Apple, it is several times more than what VirnetX reportedly makes. They are also trying to seek a sales ban of Apple’s products instead of seeking a licensing arrangement can only really be seen as an attempt to squeeze more money out of them to keep the holiday season profits unfettered.
One possibility is for Apple to just buy VirnetX and their patents along with them, but then it’s difficult to say how valuable those patents are in the first place. You can check out the four in question for yourself.