Why VirnetX Holding Corp. Shares Soared

Is VirnetX's jump meaningful or just another movement?

Feb 13, 2014 at 4:52PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of VirnetX Holding (NYSEMKT:VHC) rose more than 10% during Thursday's intraday trading, then closed up about 8% after the networking technology specialist announced favorable patent-related news

So what: VirnetX said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has denied Apple's "motions for rehearing of the decisions not to institute seven of its requested inter partes reviews." Previously, the board had found Apple's petitions for inter partes review weren't filed within the required time limit imposed by statute.

According to VirnetX's press release, during Apple's motions for rehearing, the tech behemoth had argued the board misunderstood its arguments and incorrectly applied the law. Today's decision effectively negates that assertion, and the board instead insisted Apple's claims were simply without merit.

Now what: VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen weighed in with prepared comments: "We are pleased that the Board has denied Apple's motions for a rehearing and has reaffirmed its original decisions to deny Apple's petitions. We have a high level of confidence in all of our dealings with the USPTO as well as the district and appellate courts."

Remember, VirnetX added a newly acquired patent to its existing suit last summer, and it's safe to say shareholders would love to see a similar repeat of the $368 million judgment in late 2012 against Apple for violation of VirnetX's VPN-related patents. Then again, Apple appealed that verdict only a few months ago, showing just how difficult it can be for small companies like VirnetX to actually cash in their intellectual property.

For now, though, this latest decision stands a clear step in the right direction for VirnetX's latest case.

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Steve Symington owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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