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Apple, Cisco Sued By VirnetX For Patent Infringement

VirnetX Holding Corp., which settled in May a patent-infringement suit against Microsoft for $200 million, has filed a similar complaint against Apple, Cisco and others, claiming the defendants have infringed on VirnetX's virtual private network technology.

VirnetX filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas. The complaint claims the defendants infringed on at least one of five patents. Aastra Technologies and NEC were also named in the suit.

The patents listed in the complaint relate to VirnetX's way of using a domain-name service to set up a VPN for private communications over the Internet. Such highly secure networks are often used by companies to transmit documents and communicate with partners and customers.

VirnetX is seeking unspecified damages and a court order barring the companies from using its technology. VirnetX is an Internet security software company whose patent portfolio stemmed from work carried out for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The company was founded by developers and inventors from Science Applications International Corp.

VirnetX sued Microsoft in 2007, claiming infringement of two patents related to VirnetX's VPN technology. One patent covered a method of establishing a secure communication link in a VPN, while the other involved "a method and system of transparently creating" a VPN.

The settlement reached this year followed a jury trial in which Microsoft lost. Details of the settlement were not released, but it did call for Microsoft to take a license for the patented technology for its products.

At the time, industry observers said the settlement could have ramifications for other high-tech firms.


-- Microsoft Sued For VPN Patent Infringement

-- Microsoft Settles $200 Million VPN Patent Case