Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been in its share of courtroom battles, and has won its share of those battles. But also, with the more courtroom battles a company like Apple gets into, the chances of losing increase. But with many decisions in these court battles, it isn’t necessarily that the decision comes out against a company; it’s how the company responds to the decision. And in the case of a patent battle against VirnetX, Apple seems to be taking a narrow interpretation of the decision that required a change a the VPN On Demand feature on some iDevices.
In the VirnetX case, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was found in October to have violated a VirnetX patent that involved a secure connection between computers on a VPN (virtual private network) with the FaceTime app on millions of iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch devices and iPad Minis. As a result of that decision, Apple was to write a $368 million check to VirnetX, but it was also ordered to cut off the default “always on” setting for the VPN On Demand feature involving FaceTime.
Um, yeah, about that last part. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had originally posted a notice saying that it would indeed be updating iOS 6.1 to include changes that would turn off the VPN On Demand default feature on all devices that run 6.1. Now, though, Apple has announced a partial reversal, stating that in a new notice that it will not be changing the settings on any devices that have already been shipped. This seems to mean that future devices that have FaceTime and run 6.1 will have the change made built into the device.
However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be facing more trouble, as VirnetX filed a new lawsuit earlier this year, basically updating the original lawsuit to cover the latest iDevices like the iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPod Touch 5, the iPad Mini and “the latest” Mac computers – so without making the change permanent, Apple could be facing more repercussions.
What do you think? Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) right to not make changes to existing devices, but instead limit the change to future devices? Let us know your thoughts about this decision and the VirnetX case overall in the comments section below.