A U.S. district court jury this week ruled that mobile VPN software vendor NetMotion Wireless infringed on two patents held by competitor Padcom.

The patents at issue as being “core” technology for the company’s TotalRoam solution, which lets users continue to use a wireless data application while roaming across multiple, dissimilar active networks, said Richard Reed, Padcom’s general counsel.

Padcom was granted the primary patent at issue in the case in July 2002, Reed said. The company filed the lawsuit against NetMotion in October 2003 and subsequently amended the plea to reflect the award of another patent. The court will decide damages associated with verdict at an undetermined date, Reed said.

"We are pleased that the jury recognized Padcom's investment and research into this key technology—currently a critical component of the communications devices used by this country's public safety, transportation, and utilities industries—and found our patents to be valid," Padcom President and CEO Scott Stone said in a prepared statement. "Padcom has been a leader in building awareness and solutions within the marketplace—this verdict reinforces that such technology cannot be created without great attention to detail.”

Mark Ferguson, Padcom’s marketing director, declined to speculate on the verdict’s impact on the industry but expressed optimism about the company’s future in an environment where customers are utilizing multiple networks to support data applications.

“The fact that multiple networks are here and are being used is becoming de facto,” he said. “We believe the demand for this is going to grow, and we’re happy to see that the jury validated the fact that our intellectual property is valid and—as we believe—core to providing the kind of roaming organizations are looking for.”

After the verdict was announced, NetMotion Wireless announced that it is developing a version of its product that will not infringe on Padcom’s patents. NetMotion Wireless’s customers will be able to download the new release for free within 30 days, according to the company.

"We respect the jury and the court, but we disagree with these findings and plan to pursue post-trial motions and appeal at our earliest opportunity," NetMotion Wireless CEO Bob Hunsberger said in a prepared statement. "In the meantime, we look forward to quickly providing a version which continues to meet our customers' needs and will not infringe on these patents."