Every few weeks a Patent troll will pop up and go after large technology companies with dubious patent claims in what is generally seen as a cash grab.
This week is no exception. VirnetX has filed a patent infringement suit against several companies, including Apple.
The specific patents that VirnetX claims have been infringed are specifically associated with all of Apple’s mobile devices; iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch, and their implementation of certain network communication protocols.
What is seedy about these cases is that these companies tend to have patents for very broad implementations, and lie in wait until enough big fish have fallen foul of them.
VirnetX even describes itself as “engaged in commercialising its patent portfolio by developing a licensing program.”
Loosely translated : “We are a Patent Troll”.
What is worrying, for Apple, is that the case has been filed in a district of the US state of Texas which is known to be sympathetic to these cases, and Microsoft set a precedent by settling with the company some time ago. VirnetX’s haul there was a cool $200 Million!
Do you think Patent Law is confusing, unfair and open to abuse? Or is it OK that these companies can have a business model based around suing over ideas? Let us know your view on this in the comments…