Apple’s in hot water over the iPhone once again, this time it has been hit with fresh litigation by VirnetX, a company which in May won a similar legal action against Microsoft.

Microsoft agreed to pay $200 million to the company, which claimed WIndows and other Microsoft products violated patents it held on virtual private networking (VPN) systems.

With Microsoft beaten it was only a question of time until VirnetX sought new targets, and Apple is it. The company claims the VPN system used in the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad use its technologies.

Apple is alleged to have violated Patent No. 6,502,135, one of those that Microsoft violated.

The action isn’t confined to Apple: Cisco, NEC and Aastra are also named in suits filed in the patent holder friendly East Texas federa court.

The company holds four dozen patents, many of which were awarded to engineers who worked for a firm which contracted to the US Department of Defense.

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