Feeds

Military-industrial patent troll demands BEEELLIONS from Cisco

The troll versus The Borg

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.