VirnetX is a company that is in business to profit from purchased patents. Taking other companies to court is part of the regular business operations of the firm. You might recall that last November, a jury in Texas awarded the company $368 million from Apple
. At issue were four networking patents that VirnetX claimed Apple infringed on with its FaceTime
applications. Apple's defense was that even if Apple engineers used technology in creating FaceTime that was similar to what VirtnetX owned the patent to, it was a such a small part of a complex product, that VirnetX should not be entitled to any money.
Yesterday, a Federal Judge upheld the $368 million award, and denied the Cupertino company's request for a new trial. The judge also ruled that until the two parties get together on a licensing deal for the four patents involved, Apple must pay $330,000 a day
to VirnetX. If both sides fail to reach agreement in 45 days, the judge will make a final ruling.
While we are not lawyers, and never played one on television, it sure sounds like there is pressure being applied on Apple to reach an agreement. Also, it is interesting to imagine how Apple's attorneys would have responded had Apple's defense in this case, which was that VirtneX's patent was for a small part of a complex product, been used by one of Apple's rivals-like Samsung-in one of the patent cases where Apple is the plaintiff.