Jury rules against Microsoft in patent suit

Texas jury finds that Microsoft willfully infringed on patents related to virtual private network technology, awarding plaintiff VirnetX $105 million.

A jury in Texas ruled against Microsoft Tuesday in a patent infringement case and awarded plaintiff VirnetX $105.75 million.

Scotts Valley, Calif.-based VirnetX sued Microsoft in February 2007, alleging that the software giant had infringed on two VirnetX patents related to virtual private network technology.

The jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that Microsoft willfully infringed on the patents, according to a statement from the firm of McKool Smith, which represented VirnetX.

"Our clients are very happy with today's verdict," attorney Douglas Cawley said in the statement. "We hope this decision sends a clear message to patent infringers everywhere that they will be held responsible for wrongly profiting off the hard work of others."

Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft, had this to say: "We are disappointed by the jury's verdict. We respect others' intellectual property, and we believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid. We believe the award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict."

About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.


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