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Virnetx Loses Court Battle To Cisco Over VPN Patent 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-luck-next-time dept.
schneidafunk writes "VirnetX, a patent-licensing firm with 14 employees, has seen its stock price fall after it lost a major patent trial in Texas on Thursday. A jury there ruled that Cisco did not infringe VirnetX's patents on virtual private networks (VPNs), and that the networking giant didn't have to pay $258 million in damages."
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Virnetx Loses Court Battle To Cisco Over VPN Patent

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  • Awwww.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:05PM (#43197797) Journal
    Poor patent troll. I'd like to see more losses like this for these parasites.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seems like when a patent or copyright troll is shown to be making baseless lawsuits, there should be some more appropriate response. When child molesters are convicted, their names and faces are made public. Shouldn't there be a website for bottom-feeding suckerfish? Shouldn't their neighbors be warned?

      • Seems like when a patent or copyright troll is shown to be making baseless lawsuits, there should be some more appropriate response. When child molesters are convicted, their names and faces are made public. Shouldn't there be a website for bottom-feeding suckerfish? Shouldn't their neighbors be warned?

        The looser should be forced to pay the winner's entire court costs. That would put an end to this crap in a nanosecond.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by loufoque (1400831)

          The looser of the two must be quite loose already.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          While that sounds good in theory, it would actually prevent people from suing companies. For example, if I were injured by a pharmaceutical and found there was negligence or falsified data and went to sue them - they would have a lot more money to buy lawyers, delays, appeals, etc. until I either go bankrupt and quit or they win. And then I have to pay their court costs. Boy, that just does not sound right.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            What doesn't sound right to me is that the one with money can decide the outcome of the trial. That problem kind of trumps all other problems I would say.

          • Which is why I have advocated for loser pays as an option the judge can impose on a case-by-case basis, when the facts/merits of the case warrant it.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by mcgrew (92797) *

          The looser should be forced to pay the winner's entire court costs.

          I don't think you said what you thought you said. You said "the one that is less tight should be forced to pay the winner's entire court costs" which makes absolutely no sense at all. Educationally handicapped?

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            How about that, a semi-literate with mod points! If you not only can't spell a four letter word without a spell checker and, what's more, don't notice that it completely changes the meaning of what you were trying to say, you need to get your GED.

            Too damned many alliterates here these days (and no, that wasn't misspelled, look it up).

            • How about that, a semi-literate with mod points! If you not only can't spell a four letter word without a spell checker and, what's more, don't notice that it completely changes the meaning of what you were trying to say, you need to get your GED.

              A spell checker won't help as it was still a correctly spelt word.

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                A spell checker won't help as it was still a correctly spelt word.

                That was the whole point. It still stands that he's an aliterate (which FireFox pegs as a misspelling).

                Dew knot truss you're spill checker!

            • by Dahan (130247)

              Too damned many alliterates here these days (and no, that wasn't misspelled, look it up).

              Fine, I'll take the bait: Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] says it's a verb, but you're using it as a noun. Wiktionary [wiktionary.org] agrees that it's a verb. So what were you trying to say? In English this time.

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                Damn, I misspelled that (thanks, Mozilla). It should have been aliterate, FireFox tagged it as a misspelling so I went with the spell check. DOH!

                Definition of ALITERACY [merriam-webster.com]
                : the quality or state of being able to read but uninterested in doing so
                â" aliterate adjective or noun

      • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday March 17, 2013 @04:55PM (#43198645)

        Seems like when a patent or copyright troll is shown to be making baseless lawsuits, there should be some more appropriate response. When child molesters are convicted, their names and faces are made public. Shouldn't there be a website for bottom-feeding suckerfish?

        That's not a very nice or fair comparison.

        Please, think of the real bottom-feeders out there performing a useful ecological function in our lakes and rivers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is still a loss for Cisco. The fact that it made it to trial means they had to spend millions on lawyers and VirnetX probably made sure discovery was as expensive as possible. For patent trolls there's really no downside for them. They don't make anything, so they aren't open to countersuits, and they simply bought the patent from someone else so there's not much to do discovery against on their side.

      • Re:Awwww.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Zemran (3101) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:31PM (#43197923) Homepage Journal

        This is one part of US law that I will always fail to understand. Their action caused harm and CISCO should be able to claim for those damages. I have counter sued twice in the UK when I had to go to court over things that should not have gone to court.

        • Re:Awwww.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @03:02PM (#43198051)
          In the US, a counter suit is a counter claim for the same issue. If your neighbor cut down a tree rooted in your yard that shaded or dropped leaves on his, and sued you for the cost of removal, then you can "counter-sue" for the loss of the tree. You can't counter sue for his fence being over the property line, or for legal costs for a matter not yet resolved. You can re-sue for legal costs later, but you'd need proof they did so recklessly or otherwise inappropriately. Otherwise, you just ask the judge for costs in the case and hope he awards them, he usually doesn't.
        • Re:Awwww.... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 17, 2013 @03:06PM (#43198061)

          In other western countries citizens expect the government to be proactive about preventing harmful actions. Americans expect that much less and instead the idea is that lawsuits after-the-fact play the role that governments play in other countries. That can only work if everyone is allowed to sue everyone else for any reason with no consequences other than legal fees. It's a bit like how you can't have the police jailed if they investigate someone innocent - being a policeman would be too risky in that case. In a sense, in the US, everyone is supposed to be police and lawsuits is how that is done. It's the same thing with how Americans want to carry guns so they can take out criminals. It is a part of their culture.

          • by mpoulton (689851)
            Mod parent up! This is the most accurate and succinct explanation of the way American culture and law differs from most of the world. It all boils down to limitation of government and emphasis on individual rights and responsibilities. With that said, there are legal remedies for completely egregious abuse of the civil legal system. Suing based on fabricated facts (not mistakes of fact, but actual lies) or with absolutely no legal basis for the claim gives rise to a counterclaim for abuse of process or
          • Americans realize that Government cannot protect everyone at all times, and doesn't try to. It works for us. We don't have to be like everyone else. I just wish people leaving their shitty ass countries coming here to America thinking they want to build us into the same shitty ass country they left would just stay home. If you don't like how we do things, don't come here, expecting us to change.

        • This is one part of US law that I will always fail to understand. Their action caused harm and CISCO should be able to claim for those damages. I have counter sued twice in the UK when I had to go to court over things that should not have gone to court.

          I'm American and my best friend is too and he is a lawyer. I have asked him about this sort of thing, so I can comment on it and offer a sort of American legal perspective, although again, I am not a lawyer myself.

          Basically in US law it is possible for a sued party to go after the people who sued them if they win, but it's very difficult to prevail. See, judges and lawyers like our very broken system just fine as it is because it provides employment for them. Judges very rarely will award damages to

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      But should we be mad at the troll, or the government that encourages and rewards patent trolling?

      I mean take for example the stock market, from the turn of the 20th century all the way up to the mid 80s most companies were working towards long term growth and stability and then we suddenly go to this crazy batshit "flip this stock" kind of situation where its all about the short term, what happened? The government injected massive amounts of money into the market and distorted the system so that you were pe

  • by Dan East (318230) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:05PM (#43197799) Homepage Journal

    Let's hope that VirnetX is down to 0 employees now.

  • Publically traded? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:12PM (#43197843)

    Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that a 14 employee company is publicly traded? Or is this common?

    I've certainly worked in much larger companies that weren't on the stock market.

    • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:16PM (#43197859) Journal
      No doubt it'll be structured that way to avoid liability for whatever parent group owns them. A nice little sock puppet to take all the risk and pass any reward on to the limited shareholding.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      I worked for a company that was that small and publicly traded. There was a mining company in the 1800s that became publicly listed. They eventually closed all operations, but were never de-listed. They had a few owners, mostly old ladies. Someone thought it a good idea (probably Mr. Prather) to buy up the outstanding shares and start an Internet startup like company. That way, they never needed an IPO, they had been public for 100 years. And the main company had a board and CEO, and a secretary. The
  • Half the battle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @02:59PM (#43198023) Homepage

    It's a good thing when companies with deep pockets stand up patent trolls and win, but I worry that they'll just move to smaller, softer targets who can't afford to fight. Even after widely-publicized losses like this we'll continue to suffer from patent trolls until we have some meaningful legal reforms.

  • ... note that the jury also found that the patents were valid [tmcnet.com] over the prior art. Cisco doesn't practice the invention in the patents, but that doesn't mean that the patents don't cover a valid invention.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In other news, the East Texas jury also found that the likeness of Jesus of Nazareth was in fact represented pictorially in a cow dropping left in the local sale barn after the 4H club meeting.

  • A patent troll losing their case in Marshall, Texas?

  • They won a $368 million judgement against Apple. Also Siemens caved in and signed an agreement with them. Looks like they are far from dead unfortunately.
  • To any company thinking of giving in to patent trolls, because it's cheaper than fighting them...

    http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/dane_geld.html [poetryloverspage.com]

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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