Feeds

Military-industrial patent troll demands BEEELLIONS from Cisco

The troll versus The Borg

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Emboldened by a win against Apple that was upheld last February, VirnetX – inventor of key VPN technologies or a patent troll, depending on your point of view and understanding of its patents – has now taken up cudgels against Cisco.

In a hearing in front of a Federal jury over a complaint first filed in 2010, VirnetX has said that Cisco owes it $US258 million for selling VPN capabilities in practically any Cisco product.

The battle against Cisco began as part of a sue-everybody suit filed in 2010. Apple, one of the many defendants in the original complaint, was ordered to pay $US368.2 million last year, a decision upheld in February. Apple was found to have infringed US Patents 6,502,135, 7,418,504, 7,921,211 and 7,490,151.

According to Bloomberg VirnetX accuses The Borg of using its technology since 2005, in products representing more than $US1 billion in revenue. Cisco's response, via counsel John Desmarais, is that “VirnetX did not invent secure communication over the Internet”, and in response to the lawsuit, Cisco says the patents are invalid and argues that VirnetX isn't entitled to damages.

The complaint “targets” - if that's the right term to use when the plaintiff seems to want a slice of pretty much every Cisco product line – routers, software, and IP phones using VPN functions, along with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Telepresence, and Cisco AnyConnect.

VirnetX is stacked with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), military and natsec veterans, including its former CEO Ed Munger (whose history includes SAIC and the FBI), Bob Short (SAIC) and Dr Victor Larson (Department of Defence and the “intelligence community”) - all of which are listed as inventors on the '135 patent. The other listed inventors are Douglas Charles Schmidt and Michael Williamson. The remaining patents omit Schmidt.

The company had previously stung Microsoft for more $US200 million over the same patents.

Here are links to the some of VirnetX's key patents:

  • US Patent 6,502,135 – using “seemingly random” IP addresses for source and destination, assignee SAIC;
  • US Patent 7,490,151 – a near-photocopy of '135, assignee VirnetX;
  • US Patent 7,418,504 – a secure domain name service using non-standard TLDs assignee VirnetX; and
  • US Patent 7,921,211 – pretty much the same thing as 7,418,504, assigned to VirnetX.

All Reg readers doubtless wish VirnetX well in this endeavour. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.