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Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:23

Apple gets into patent hotwater

Written by Nick Farrell



We ignore others patents, court told


Apple's engineers appear to have a policy of ignoring other people's patents when they develop “new” ideas.

The evidence came out in the case of VirnetX versus Apple, where Jobs Mob engineers admitted that they did not check if any patents existed for the technology they thought they had created. Apple had to pay $368m after a court ruled FaceTime video calls infringed VirnetX's patents.

The jury, which had sat through the five-day trial, ruled that Apple infringed two patents: one for a method of creating a virtual private network (VPN) between computers, and another for solving DNS security issues. Most of the case was about FaceTime, which lets users of Mac computers, iPhones, iPods and iPads talk to each other about their favourite Coldplay singles in real time.

Apple dealt with the VirnetX complaint by ignoring it. Doug Cawley, a lawyer at McKool Smith, said Apple insisted that it did not infringe. But Apple developers testified that they didn’t pay any attention to anyone’s patents when developing their system.

Nick Farrell

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