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Microsoft hit with $106M fine in patent dispute

Tue, 03/16/2010 - 6:30pm
The Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. has been hit with a nearly $106 million fine for violating two patents held by a communications company.

The verdict came today after a weeklong trial in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Lawyers for VirnetX Holding, which is based in Scotts Valley, say the $105.75 million verdict was $71.75 million for infringing one patent, and $34 million for infringing another.

The patents cover ways to establish virtual private network, or VPN, connections, which are used to protect Internet and other data traffic from snoops. The traffic is generally encrypted, or scrambled so outsiders can't decipher it.

Microsoft says it is disappointed by the jury's verdict and that it believes it didn't infringe the patents. It says it will appeal.

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