The iPhone 4S has been out less than three weeks and it’s already the target of a lawsuit filed this week by VirnetX regarding a method used by the device for secure communications.
Patent 8,051,181, “method for establishing a secure communication link between computers of virtual private network” is the one in question. It was granted on November 1 and the lawsuit was filed the same day in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. This is the court widely know to be friendly to these types of patent lawsuits.
Source: Patently Apple
According to Apple Insider, the suits claims that Apple infringes on the patent by “establishing a ‘secure mode of communication’ at a first computer without the need for the user to enter any cryptographic information.” This applies to several Apple products including the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod touch, and the latest version of the Mac operating system, Lion.
The lawsuit is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Apple. VirnetX has a history of these types of lawsuits and has been successful in the past, winning a $200 milllion settlement against Microsoft last year.