VirnetX files second lawsuit against Microsoft

Hot on the heels of one legal victory against Microsoft, VirnetX files a second lawsuit against the company, claiming patent violations in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

After scoring big in one court case against Microsoft this week, VirnetX is hoping for seconds.

VirnetX announced on Thursday that it has launched another lawsuit against Microsoft, this time claiming that the same patent violations found in Windows XP and Vista from the first suit also exist in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

On Tuesday, a Texas jury ruled against Microsoft in a patent infringement case initiated by VirnetX in 2007. VirnetX, which develops software to secure instant messaging and VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) communications, alleged that Microsoft had violated two of its patents concerning virtual private network (VPN) technology.

After finding that Microsoft willfully violated the patents in question, the jury awarded VirnetX damages of $105.75 million.

In addition to charging Microsoft with patent violations in XP and Vista, the first suit also targeted Microsoft Live Communications Server and Office Communications Server. The initial suit did not cover Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 because it was launched before those two products hit the marketplace.

Initiating a new lawsuit so quickly after winning the first one is part of VirnetX's strategy.

"This is a tactical and procedural post-trial action to ensure and protect our property rights, as we proceed to final resolution with Microsoft," VirnetX President and CEO Kendall Larsen said in a statement.

In response to the new lawsuit, Kevin Kutz, Microsoft's director of public affairs, issued the following statement: "While we can't comment specifically about the new complaint because we have not been served, Microsoft respects intellectual property, and we believe our products do not infringe the patents involved. Moreover, we believe those patents are invalid. We will challenge VirnetX's claims."

VirnetX's lawsuit claims that Microsoft violated its U.S. patents 6,502,135 and 7,188,180. Both patents cover specific ways of better securing IP-based communications through VPNs and other technologies.

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