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VirnetX gets thumbs-up in VPN patent review

The U.S. Patent Office certifies as valid two patents held by VirnetX that were at the center of a recent dispute with Microsoft.

In something of a postscript to the main legal action, VirnetX announced Tuesday that the two patents involved in its dispute with Microsoft have been confirmed by the U.S. Patent Office as valid.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed VirnetX's U.S. Patent No. 6,502,135 and U.S. Patent No. 7,188,180 as patentable and valid on June 16, according to VirnetX. The two patents were the subject of lawsuits filed by VirnetX against Microsoft, alleging patent infringement over the use of VPN (virtual private network) technology in Windows.

The settlement, reached May 17, calls for Microsoft to pay VirnetX $200 million and obtain a license to use VirnetX technology in Windows and Microsoft products.

"The validation of these two key patents and all the claims associated with each by the USPTO further validates the importance and strength of our patent portfolio," Kendall Larsen, VirnetX president and CEO, said in a statement. "Furthermore, this confirms that VirnetX has key patents related to one of the most ubiquitous and important security technologies, Virtual Private Networks."