VirnetX (News - Alert) Holding Corporation, a company that plies its trade in the secure real-time communications and collaborations space, announced that it has been awarded two patents #7,490,151 and #7,418,504 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The new patents join over 25 U.S. and foreign patents and pending applications which specifically cover VirnetX’s GABRIEL Connection Technology
According to company officials, these patents include “fundamental mechanisms for providing secure automated communications across the Internet using VirnetX’s innovative domain names and domain name service (DNS). Applications such as VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, secure presence and collaboration to remote PC access, secure directory services, e-commerce and online banking ? regardless of device type, software or operating system can benefit from integrating VirnetX’s secure domain names.”
In February of 2007, VirnetX filed suit against Microsoft (News - Alert) alleging patent infringement.
About a year later, Microsoft filed a Motion to Dismiss, and, in June 2008, the court denied the Motion.
In a company statement, officials hailed the Court’s decision denying Microsoft’s motion, saying that it “…expressly confirmed VirnetX’s constitutional standing to sue for patent infringement.”
According to its filing, VirnetX claimed that Microsoft had infringed on two patents; one relating to a method of establishing a secure communication link in a VPN, and the other related to “a method and system of transparently creating” a VPN.
Curious to learn more, I reached out to the VirnetX with several questions. The company’s Sr. Director, Corporate Communications, Greg Wood was kind enough to facilitate the following response from the VirnetX management team.
Q: Who is VirnetX?
A: VirnetX, which stands for “virtual network exchange,” is a publicly traded company incorporated in August 2005 that provides secure real-time communications, including enabling secure Voice over Internet Protocol and instant messaging.
VirnetX’s patented mechanisms establish secure links without entering any cryptographic information utilizing zero-click and single click technology. This is accomplished with seamless and automatic encryption technology that utilizes a Domain Name Service (DNS) look-up to automatically initiate a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. The technology ensures the highest level of security for real-time and end-to-end communications like VoIP, video conferencing and other type of peer-to-peer collaboration without degradation of quality of service.
Q: What is your company’s mission?
A: Our mission is to become the recognized leader in securing real-time communications by commercializing our rich patent portfolio and providing contract research, prototyping, systems integration, and technical services and products for application and OEM developers.
Q: Who, or rather, what is GABRIEL?
A: VirnetX’s “GABRIEL” Connection Technology is based on inventions that use a secure domain name service to automatically enable a cryptographically signed transparent VPN. These fundamental inventions are covered by broad and basic patents that enable a secure connection between two IP devices at various levels of domain name messaging, VPN parameter signing, automatic initiation, and communication and connection negotiation. The technology also links online databases connected to telecommunications.
Q: Please describe the nature of your disagreement with Microsoft
A: Simply put, we feel that Microsoft should pay a royalty for using our patented technology.
Q: VirnetX just accomplished something very few companies have been able to do in the tech space, that is you went public. Please describe the timing of the IPO and the experience of going public in an extremely difficult financial climate.
A: It’s true that we went out to raise capital in what is probably the most difficult financial climate in 75 years. This was predicated by company objectives. Given the fact that we were successful at meeting our financial goals speaks to the uniqueness and quality of VirnetX’s market positioning, technology and understanding of the importance and requirements of secured real-time communication in making the Internet safe
Q: In your view, what does 2009 hold for the IP communications market?
A: We believe that 2009 will be the year that IP communications will be acknowledged as a mandatory business tool requiring privacy and security as an essential element. This will be the year that secured converged communications will be implemented across all platforms.
Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications suite of products, including TMCnet.com. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Greg Galitzine