Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) actually found itself on the wrong side of a patent-infringement case in the U.S. And this one not only will cost the company a decent amount of lunch money – let’s fact it, $358 million among a $170 billion war chest constitutes lunch money, or bus fare – but it will also make Apple implement some changes on one of its most popular services.
After Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost an appeal of the $368 million damage ruling by a Texas jury to VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSE:VHC) and was denied any further appeal – the final slap to the face – over a key VPN network patent that affects Apple’s FaceTime application, the company is announcing that it will be sending out an update later this month to fix the issue of which the original jury had found infringement.
FaceTime, which is available on a lot of Apple iPads, iPhones, iPods and on more recent Mac computers. The particular software infringements involves VPN On Demand for iOS on visions 6.1 and later. The update that will roll out is expected to change the configuration of VPN on Demand from “Always” to “Establish as needed.” “As needed” is definied as whenever a device cannot resolve a host’s DNS name.
On the one hand, this is a result of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) infringement initially, but the work is not done; this also could be heading off another lawsuit by VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSE:VHC), which filed suit again against Apple on the day it won the initial jury award; this suit broadened the patent claim to include the Apple iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod Touch 5 and “most recent” Macintosh devices.
This patent battle is actually similar to one that VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSE:VHC) lost against Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) last month, showing that VirnetX is not that new to patent litigation proceedings.
What are your thoughts about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) owning up to its infringement and fixing the issue? Do you think this will even fix the issue ultimately? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.