Microsoft has been ordered by a US federal jury in Texas to pay nearly $106m to VirnetX Holding Corporation for infringing two internet communication patents. Under the ruling Microsoft will be required to cough up $71.75m for infringing a virtual private network patent, and $34m for violating a patent intended for setting up a …
Another story with proof that software patents should be banned worldwide. Why should a 'holding company' be allowed to sue another company just because they happen to have bought the patent from someone else?
Of course I'm also happy for the money being taken away from Microsoft :)
From their own website....
"We intend to license our patents and our GABRIEL Connection Technology™"
"Our portfolio of intellectual property is the foundation of our business model."
Go to the website, I think every paragraph mentions the word Patent !
I don't know the patents in this case well enough to comment specifically, but so many of the patents contested in such cases arguably fail to meet the criteria to be accepted as patents. So WTF are the worlds patent offices doing? Many IT patents are of dubious validity, so how come it's left to the courts to test their validity? Patent offices really need to examine patents more carefully before they accept them, otherwise the whole system degenerates into a way of making sure these cases go to court and patent lawyers make lots of money. Then again WTF are the courts doing? Have you noticed how often the courts find one way and then the decision is overturned on appeal?
Do not leave this field blank
"WTF are the worlds patent offices doing?" - making money and further paving the way for patent lawyers to make money when...
"it's left to the courts to test their validity".
"courts find one way and then the decision is overturned on appeal". That depends on which side has the most influence over the judge.
Rip up this patent system
Whilst I'm always glad to see large overpowerful companies get a knock, this whole patent fiasco has to come to an end.
"Nine figure award"
Receiving a nine figure award might verify your belief that your patents are foundational, but reflecting on the number of figures, in the award, rather than the actual figure itself, indicates that success, in patent trials, is now measured in orders of magnitude.
p2ptp vs Lim Krisner
This patent read like a 'how to use a VPN' in 2002 no less:
You may wish to read up on the version (sorry Polish) from 1999, 3 years earlier.
You'll find all the same elements, there. And the copyright notice indicates that it is originally English:
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore , Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney. Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Once again, USPTO patents are just spam, they have no worth, in no sense should you send money to someone pretending to have a USPTO issued patent on your technology, even if they are not from Lagos. Report it to the internet police, as a cyber-scam, do not give out your bank details and certainly don't sent any credit card information.
Patents are broken. If patents are the foundation of your business, then you're just a leech.
but is Microsoft playing the game ?
Is it actually in Microsoft's interest to win cases like this given their own use of patents ? If they actually win then the same types of defence becomes practical against their claims against many other companies. ExFAT for one...
IP is theft
Every idea had already been thought before many times before it is written down. Every patent is based upon the work done by other people most of whom will never get a penny. The patent system was designed to allow the theft of invention not protect it, that and provided work for lawyers.
The only fair outcome I am aware of is for Dyson of the carpet cleaner fame and his idea was hardly revolutionary (no pun)
Total crap patent
"Firewalls are not useful for distributed systems such as business travelers, extranets, small teams, etc."
No, I don't think that anybody at the patent office read the patent. The patent "examiners" obviously don't have any technical knowledge. No, changing channels with a remote control or usage of a digital watch does not count as technical knowledge.
The US law is at fault, and makes it much too easy to patent things. I think you can patent anything in the US, and they will grant it no question. It leads to huge ammounts of litigation, and millions in fees for lawyers. Since the lawyers also make the laws and construct the legal system, that that will probably never change.
shut up and take it like a man
Thats right embrace the crass consumption consumerism. Embrace creating massive amounts of paper wealth by shifting risk to others using financial instrument nobody understands. Embrace the house of cards IP virtual land grab. Embrace the fine profession of law, become an indispensable to society, patent attorney and tax anyone who dares to innovate and disrupt the status quo. Most of all embrace the 44 magnum because when everything in western society comes crashing down its the one item you will need to get what you want.
"Once again, USPTO patents are just spam, they have no worth"
Unfortunately, to all of our detriment, they clearly have: a nine figure judgement.
What we need is a global campaign against software patents, a few billion signatories should raise the awareness a tad. I propose that El Reg starts one :-) I mean, look how well (with monsewer Hanff's help) Phuck Phorm went.....
I, for one, would sign in the blink of a cursor..
a whole pageful of lawyers here who fully understand laws and their application. I can sleep soundly knowing eleven posters have the patent laws all under control ... conceptually of course.
"We believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid,"
Yes mister corporate lawyer. Whatever you say.
Here's a question for y'all.
The day I see these corps lobbying for an end to software patents will be;
a) The day that hell freezes over
b) The day that pigs fly
c) The day that you might possibly start to give the tiniest thought towards beginning to care about the problems of these megacorps.
d) All of the above
e) What a stupid question, it'll never happen