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Apple FaceTime fix may not be working out for some unhappy users

Mel Martin

It seemed minor at the time, but last year's loss by Apple of a patent suit from VirnetX may have cascaded into some serious problems for the FaceTime service.

Apple could have faced continuing royalty payments in the millions of dollars per month to license the VirnetX patents. In a workaround, Apple has reportedly made some changes to FaceTime that are driving many users crazy.

Ars Technica reports that Apple may have completely redesigned its backend architecture -- although the source for the story is an investor in VirnetX, so his accounting may be suspect. But, if the workaround is in fact in place, it's impacting users in negative ways.

Apple support boards are filled with unhappy comments from FaceTime users. The changes Apple made means that point-to-point communication is lost, and calls are now going through relay servers. It's not as reliable, and people are reporting everytihng from inability to connect to poor quality. Others are reporting FaceTime is working just fine.

VirnetX last month filed new papers with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to add allegations that Apple, already a defendant in its currently pending patent-infringement lawsuit (VirnetX Inc. et al v. Apple Inc.), infringes a just-granted patent for secure communications. The accused products in this lawsuit include the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini and the latest Macintosh computers.

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