Earlier this month, Apple posted a support document on its website with details on how settings would change for iOS users connecting to virtual private networks (VPNs). Now the company has done an about-face,updating the document to inform the public that the changes will not happen.
The changes were made following a patent infringement lawsuit by VirnetX against Apple in which Apple was found to have violated a patent through the design of the popular FaceTime software. That loss in court cost Apple US$368 million, and the company made a minor change in the iOS VPN On Demand feature as a result. As Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica explains, “The change was going to be relatively minor-devices with VPN On Demand configured to ‘always’ would instead behave as if they were set up to only establish a connection as needed.”
The latest document from Apple appears to indicate that it has come to an agreement with VirnetX and won’t need to issue a software update to make the VPN changes. The document states that “Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The ‘Always’ option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices.”
Apple is no stranger to lawsuits. Whether they be for trademarks, design patents or technology, it’s been there and done it on all fronts and fought against virtually every major manufacturer and some much smaller companies. The latest intriguing case was in Brazil. A country which has only recently become an area of major focus for Cupertino’s chiefs. It had been speculated that Apple could not use the ‘iPhone’ brand name in Brazil due to an existing Android-powered smartphone of the same name being on sale there.
Thankfully the two companies involved have decided to end the dispute with a settlement. In other words: Apple will pay IGB to use the name. As noted by Forbes:
According to Brazil’s largest daily, Folha de São Paulo, both companies have agreed to end the lawsuit over iPhone and come to some sort of “pacific agreement,” the paper reported on Saturday. Apple has paid millions for its exclusive use of the word iPhone in the past and will likely pay IGB as well.
No specific amount of cash has been reported yet, but it’s going to be in the millions. The iPad/Proview lawsuit in China cost Apple $60 million. And years before now, Apple had a huge case to settle for using the iPhone brand name which was owned by Cisco.
Apparently Samsung were impressed with the judge, Sir Robin Jacob, who was involved in the UK iPad vs. Galaxy Tab trial last year. His legal knowledge and expertise in patent disputes was seemingly impressive enough to land him a job as a patent consultant for the Korean tech giants. Sammy is currently involved in tussle with Ericsson, and he was viewed as an ideal man to have onboard.
Although Jacob wasn’t the judge who made the final decision, he did work on the appeals case and was the one who forced Apple to change its non-apology and write a full and frank statement making it clear that Samsung did not willfully copy Cupertino’s designs.
Apparently, everything is all above board, despite it seeming a little odd. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this will go further. From a report by Foss Patents (linked above) it doesn’t seem troubling at all to the authorities in charge.