updated 02:25 pm EDT, Wed March 17, 2010
VirnetX wins claim against Microsoft suit
Microsoft has suffered its second legal blow this year with a loss in a patent infringement lawsuit. Judge Leonard Davis ordered the Windows developer to pay $105.8 million for allegedly violating two VirnetX patents for VPN networks, including "transparently" creating a computer-to-computer connection and using a secure DNS server to create a link. The technology had supposedly been used in platforms from Windows XP through to Vista as well as Office and services like Windows Messenger.
An appeal is planned against the verdict, which comes from a Tyler, Texas court district known to often rule in favor of small companies that use patent lawsuits as their main form of business. Microsoft's Public Affairs Director Kevin Kutz said his firm was "disappointed" and objected outright to the verdict.
"We respect others’ intellectual property, and we believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid," he said.
Judge Davis had yet to decide whether to provide any additional penalties, such as an injunction that might block sales of the software still on sale.
The defeat came just after a court upheld a $290 million verdict against Microsoft in a lawsuit from i4i over custom XML patents. It was one of the first such patent suits to have a meaningful impact on Microsoft's business as it forced the company to briefly halt Office sales in stores until it could provide a version that didn't tread on i4i's patents.