Microsoft fined $114m over patent dispute with VirnetX

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Microsoft fined $114m over patent dispute with VirnetX

Software giant will challenge verdict.

Microsoft has been ordered to pay US$105.8 million ($114.6 million) in damages to communications security firm VirnetX after being found guilty of breaching two of its patents for virtual private network (VPN) technology.

VirnetX's legal firm McKool Smith confirmed that the jury in the case held in Texas awarded US$71.75m against Microsoft for infringing one patent, and US$34m for the other.

It could get worse for Redmond though, as the figures could be increased threefold by the judge in the case after the jury agreed that the infringement of VirnetX's patents had been wilful.

However, Kevin Kutz, Microsoft's director of public affairs, said in an emailed statement that the company was "disappointed" with the jury's verdict and would challenge the decision.

"We respect others' intellectual property and believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid. We believe the award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict," he said.

Unsurprisingly, Douglas Cawley, a lawyer from McKool Smith, said his client was "very happy" with the verdict.

"We hope this decision sends a clear message to patent infringers everywhere that they will be held responsible for wrongly profiting off the hard work of others," he said.

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