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Now Apple's Facetime and iMessage could be under threat

Another US company claims both services infringe on its patents and wants them shut down.

Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

APPLE IS NOW dealing with another patent case concerning two of its most popular products: iMessage and Facetime.

Another Texas company, VirnetX, was originally awarded €561 million in February after a jury found Apple had committed patent infringement.

Now it’s arguing that Apple should be blocked from using its technologies to power iMessage and Facetime while the case goes to appeal, reports the BBC.

VirnetX says the infringement has done “irreparable harm” to the company which has its own secure messaging and conferencing app called Gabriel Collaboration Suite.

Apple iMessage Security iMessage is one of Apple's most popular features, allowing iPhone, iPad and Mac users to message each other. Source: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Apple has argued that its customers would be harmed if it was forced to stop iMessage and Facetime. Both services are available to iPhone, iPad and Mac users and if the injunction is granted, it would force Apple to disable the features or find a last-minute workaround to keep both services running.

The patent in question dates back as far as 1998, and describes a method to create secure communications through internet domain names, say Fortune. VirnetX acquired the patent from another company in 2006.

On top of this, Apple is dealing with another company which claims that basic features of the iPhone have infringed its patents. Such features include the ability to make phone calls, send email and block calls.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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