It was not a good Tuesday for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), even as the United States went to the polls to elect a new President.
The company was ordered by a court, in a ruling late at night, to pay $368 million for violating a Virtual Private Network patent belonging to a company called VirnetX.
VirnetX Holding Corporation (NYSEAMEX:VHC), a software firm, had first filed the complaint against Apple in November 2011, claiming that the technology used by Apple in its iPhone 4S infringed on its patent for a method of a secure communication link between computers in a virtual private network.
Along with this claim, the company had also filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission saying that Apple's devices such as the iPhone, iPad and its Mac computers had all violated its wireless patents. The company has already successfully won a similar lawsuit against Microsoft for $200 million.
According to AppleInsider VirnetX had made a complaint with the ITC in August regarding the violation of its VPN patent but the commission had sided with a trade judge's ruling "who terminated the case over questions of patent ownership."
The company had then vowed that it would file a new compliant.
Apple is not the only company against whom VirnetX has filed lawsuits for patent infringements. In 2010, the company had brought similar allegations against Cisco, Astra technologies and NEC Corp claiming violations of at least five patents.