VirnetX Files Patent-Infringement Complaint Against Apple

The latest complaint is with the U.S. International Trade Commission and follows by a few days a lawsuit Zephyr Cove, Nev.-based VirnetX filed in federal court in Tyler, Texas. Both complaints stem from VirnetX's patent technology for implementing a secure link between computers and a virtual private network.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the patent (No. 8,051,181) Nov. 1. Shortly thereafter, VirnetX sued Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, alleging patent infringement.

VirnetX said Monday that it filed the latest complaint with the Trade Commission Nov. 4, seeking an order barring Apple from importing infringing Apple products into the U.S. and from selling those products already in the country. The products include the latest iPhone, iPads, iPods and Mac computers.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

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"We believe that the ITC plays a valuable role in protecting U.S. industries and in preventing unfair trade practices," Kendall Larsen, VirnetX chief executive and president, said in a statement. "We look forward to the ITC vindicating our substantial and significant efforts to innovate."

Companies in patent disputes typically file USITC complaints to bar importation of products. Filing a complaint does not mean the allegations have merit and the commission has to agree to open an investigation. Once a probe is launched, the commission sets a target date for completion of 45 days. Rulings take effect within 60 days, unless overruled by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, a government agency that develops and recommends trade policy to the president.