While VirnetX has been successful growing it's US patent arsenal in 2013 with 3 grants to date, its European patent tally has been quietly growing in the background.
From the Siemens settlement press release on January 29th, 2013:
"The Company’s patent portfolio includes 20 U.S. and 32 international patents and over 100 pending applications."
From today's press release:
"The Company’s patent portfolio includes 23 U.S. and 41 international patents and over 100 pending applications."
In addition, VirnetX has received notifications of allowance for a number of new US patents which should be granted this month. In my opinion VirnetX has been filing patent applications which systematically map claim elements to specific products suspected of infringement, meaning we are likely to see new actions in the near future similar to what we saw with the recently granted '697 patent, possibly targeting new defendants. We have heard of many instances of suspected infringement both at the ASM (e.g. Qualcomm) and as far back as the Microsoft trial (e.g. Intel, Hewlett Packard). Now that Avaya has settled, and Apple and Cisco are relatively progressed, management bandwidth is presumably the least burdened by litigation issues than has been the case in years, opening for the door for exploration of new avenues of monetization beyond the existing crop of defendants.
To my mind, any future defendants will face an uphill battle as compared with the one the defendants in the ongoing suits did at the time of their filing, with respect to both precedent and invalidity contentions. The time that elapsed between the filing of the first of the current crop of lawsuits on August 12th, 2010, and the first settlement agreement with Aastra on May 3rd, 2012, was nearly two years – with all the developments since that time however, it may not be unreasonable to expect any suits we may see in the latter half of this year to be settled in 2014.
The high likelihood of new actions, in conjunction with the upcoming rulings against Apple and Cisco, is cause for optimism for shareholders, as the remainder of the year may be loaded with potential catalysts.