Microsoft loses another patent case

Microsoft Tuesday lost a patent infringement case as a jury awarded plaintiff VirnetX $105.75 million.

Californian firm VirnetX, which numbers 12 employees, sued Microsoft in February 2007, claiming that that the software monopolist had infringed on two VirnetX patents related to virtual private network technology.

A jury at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas agreed with VirnetX found that Microsoft wilfully infringed on the patents, according to a statement from the firm of

"Our clients are very happy with today's verdict," lawyer Douglas Cawley of McKool Smith, which represented VirnetX said in a statement. "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."

Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft, said Microsoft was "disappointed by the jury's verdict".

Despite the court being shown that Microsoft had been notified about the patent in 2003, he kept a straight face to say: "We respect others' intellectual property, and we believe the evidence demonstrated that we do not infringe and the patents are invalid"

Naturally Microsoft will appeal if it can. "We believe the award of damages is legally and factually unsupported, so we will ask the court to overturn the verdict," Kutz said.