Feeds

back to article Military-industrial patent troll demands BEEELLIONS from Cisco

Emboldened by a win against Apple that was upheld last February, VirnetX – inventor of key VPN technologies or a patent troll, depending on your point of view and understanding of its patents – has now taken up cudgels against Cisco. In a hearing in front of a Federal jury over a complaint first filed in 2010, VirnetX has said …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

patent trolls aren't so brave

Funny how there are none picking on gambling and pokies (one-armed-bandits) manufacturers.

They must have real scary lawyers.

0
0
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: patent trolls aren't so brave

Lawyers. Riiiight.

<---- Mine's the Italian made one.

1
0
Coat

Re: patent trolls aren't so brave

Of course their Lawyers - the understand the laws of gravity from large buildings

0
0
Silver badge

Following the tried and true patent troll recipe

Hit the smaller fish first, then the bigger fish, then save the whale for last. If you have VPN patents, Cisco is definitely the whale. Considering what they got out of Microsoft and Apple, Cisco could net them billions in damages.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Following the tried and true patent troll recipe

If Microsoft were hit for $200 million and Apple had to pay $368 million, why are they saying that Cisco should pay them 'only' $258 million if Cisco is the whale?

1
0

Re: Following the tried and true patent troll recipe

I'm sure the amount is designed to "encourage" Cisco to pay up, rather than fight it in court. You can guarantee that if it was $1B there would be a lot of lawyers and 15 years before they see the $$$.

1
0
Coat

I dont think that they are trying hard enough

Because if they did try to go Cisco for a massive amount as it seems that they should, then Cisco would pull out all the stops and do some serious smashing of their own. And those 4 patents would all be cancelled and then Microsoft and Apple would both turn around and demand their money back...

Which I think would have quietly disappeared into a Cayman bank never to be seen again!

Mines the one with the Cayman bank books in the pocket...

1
0
Silver badge

Re: I dont think that they are trying hard enough

I think they're trying to get their case in as quickly as possible before the proposed anti-troll legislation gets going

0
0
g e
Silver badge

Spin it out for ages

Then, when that 'Troll pays all costs' law comes in (if it does) move for a retrial which would fall under that new governance.

0
0
Silver badge

How could anyone have granted those patents?

Which can be paraphrased as "What the internet already does."

4
0
Unhappy

"All Reg readers doubtless wish VirnetX well in this endeavour. "

Yes.

A very deep, dank well. With alligators at the bottom.

5
0
Ru
Silver badge
Meh

"inventor of key VPN technologies"

Are any of the words in that phrase actually true in this case?

1
0
Bronze badge
Flame

Re: "inventor of key VPN technologies"

Of course all those words are true.

Just not necessarily in that order. Or that context.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Surely it would be cheaper to pay to have these people killed than either fight them in court, settle or lose.

I mean, you could buy your own small airforce and army for $368 million killing a few dozen patent lawyers and their staff should cost way less than that. Even doing it surreptitiously through a sixth party recruited from South Africa.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

No, No, No, No, No

Cisco are not the Borg.

Apple are The Borg, they are assimilating the weak at an alarming pace. iClone, iClone, iClone.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

hang on a minute ..

Claim 1 in the first patent is

" A method of transparently creating a virtual private network (VPN) between a client computer and a target computer, comprising the steps of: (1) generating from the client computer a Domain Name Service (DNS) request that requests an IP address corresponding to a domain name associated with the target computer; (2) determining whether the DNS request transmitted in step (1) is requesting access to a secure web site; and (3) in response to determining that the DNS request in step (2) is requesting access to a secure target web site, automatically initiating the VPN between the client computer and the target computer. "

so if you don't use a domain name, this claim does not apply? All of the other claims build on Claim 1? Cisco should counter sue - for same amount - and also ask court to order claimant to deposit cash for likely legal costs into escrow. Alternatively they could simply ask the court to approve a settlement, in which the troll accepts full and unlimited financial liability for any security breaches in products based on it's patents, then hit them with a suit for every single VPN breach ever reported by a Cisco customer ....

That'd be fun to watch :)

Also why the **** was the patent granted? It's not original - read it, no-one familiar with 1990s IT would've taken this as original work in 2000 - and it's unbelievably broad in it's claims. No competent patent examiner / office would have dreamed of granting it. Maybe Cisco should be allowed to sue the officer(s) that granted it - personally, as well as via the Office - for sheer stupidity. (Then again, if one could sue for stupidity, where would it end .... )

3
0

Re: hang on a minute ..

Haven't read the actual patent but we did this in our software VPN back in the late 90's

3
0
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: hang on a minute ..

Firing any patent lawyer that is unable to explain why they granted a patent during a trial against/for said patent would go a long way. I bet we would see an increase in the scrutinizing over issued patents then.

Or at least require that 2 out of 3 non co-located patent clerks agree on the patent-ability of an idea before one is issued. I agree that it would increase the time to patent, so rectify that by hiring more clerks and raising the price of a patent by the correct factor to compensate for the increase in budget costs due to the increase in clerks. It's a win win, more jobs created and greater scrutiny towards the patents filed prior to them being issued.

Also, if stocks can now be traded on nanosecond scales, then patents should be shortened as well. We can't all live in a world that is speeding up yet still allow companies to continuously lobby to increase the length of time they "own" an idea. The same for copyrights, evolve or die, how many generations should get to make a living off a drawing of a mouse.

0
0
Silver badge

Listed as inventors

You can assign an invention to anyone you want - but the inventors on the patent have to be the inventors. You have to sign a declaration that you invented it.

Stuffing the list with a 130 VIP inventors to make you look big and scary is perjury- and the federal government generally doesn't like you lying to it.

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.