As early as 2010, VirnetX sued several companies including Apple (Cisco, Avaya, and Siemens) for violating VirnetX's related patents. After several trials over eight years, the federal court in Texas recently ordered Apple Inc. to rule that Apple’s FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand feature technology infringements must pay US$502.6 million in royalties to patent licensing company VirnetX.
The main reason for this 500 million U.S. dollar penalties is likely to be the introduction of the redesigned FaceTime protocol in iOS 7 and iOS 8, which is related to the four patents related to communication security that VirnetX holds. Moreover, in October last year VirnetX also had an advantage over Apple's lawsuit. In this lawsuit, Apple was sentenced to have to pay about 440 million US dollars (Apple is not satisfied with the appeal). Adding up nearly 950 million U.S. dollars in compensation before and after, even Apple, which is a wealthy enemy, has to pay attention to it. If it eventually loses compensation, it will be a major loss to the company.
Not yet finished, in recent days, Apple has been eyeing another company Omni MedSci, Apple has become a defendant. This defendant’s patent is the heartbeat sensor technology used in the recent Apple Watch that can be used to make phone calls. Whether it is for Apple itself or users, heart rate testing is a very important selling point or function of Apple Watch. The Apple Watch heart rate sensor uses the photoplethysmography technology to collect data through the infrared LED (green light that the Apple Watch will automatically switch to when the invisible infrared light cannot measure enough valid data) to complete the heart rate. The measurement is also the most popular and reliable detection method in the current class.
The Omni MedSci, a startup company based in Michigan, USA, believes that the heart rate detection sensor technology used in Apple Watch allegedly infringed its own patents, including four patents for light measurement methods for wearable devices. Therefore, Omni MedSci chose to continue its patent infringement lawsuit in the same state of Texas, which has always been referred to as a patent protection paradise. It requires that Apple continue to sell related products and compensate for the corresponding losses. (The sales of the previous two generations of Apple Watch are not very good.) Still was flattened, the recent third-generation product has a good momentum, and the litigation time is really good: P).
Well, in fact, the first VirnetX to report to Apple is a patent licensing company that does not involve technology development and product sales. It holds many patented technologies that cannot be bypassed by companies such as Apple. Its business model is acquisition. Lots of patented technology and then gaining benefits by winning patent litigation; and the founder of the second Omni MedSci has six companies with a total of more than 150 patented technologies (only 150...), to put these two The company is the "patent (rogue) company".
Such patent companies often go to low-cost acquisitions of patented technologies that are in the hands of bankrupt technology companies, and then they will focus on the products of various large companies. They will try to find opportunities for patent litigation. Well, when it comes to "patent rogue" Apple itself is not too much to give, after Apple had used the "courtesy of rounded corners," "sales methods," "slide to unlock" and other patents that the general public feels are undecided, and demanded competitors. Supporting Apple and ruling that Samsung lost the case caused Facebook, Microsoft Hewlett-Packard and many other technology giants to jointly protest.
The patent system was originally designed to protect intellectual property rights. But just as there are loopholes in the law, the patent system’s loopholes will only become a tool for making money after certain companies that do not use technology development as their ultimate goal. , can be said to be a tumor in the industry, to deal with patent rogues still need government departments to adjust regulatory policies, more effective to combat patent rogue behavior; also rely on the company's own quality, can own research and development to master more high-gold patents, naturally Have the ability to be invincible in the struggle for patents.