Network security

Cisco’s lost $ 56.9 million network security patent reinstated by Fed Circ.

  • Voluntary finding justified by unreasonable Cisco arguments
  • Delaware court misinterpreted the voluntariness standard
  • $ 8 million in legal fees also justified

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Cisco Systems Inc is responsible for at least $ 56.9 million in damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement of SRI International Inc’s patents related to network security, the Court of Appeal said on Tuesday. of the United States for the Federal Circuit.

A three-judge panel from the Federal Circuit restored a 2016 jury finding that Cisco’s infringement was intentional and a Delaware federal judge’s ruling that Cisco’s will warrants increased damages. Cisco’s unreasonable defenses and the conduct of litigation, among others, justified the ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge Kara Stoll wrote for the panel, reversing part of the ruling of another Delaware judge.

Cisco spokeswoman Robyn Jenkins-Blum said the company was disappointed the Federal Circuit did not agree with the lower court ruling “despite the strong evidence Cisco has presented in an infringement case. banal patent ”, and that the company was considering its options.

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Cisco attorneys Andrew Danford and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s Bill Lee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SRI and its attorney Frank Scherkenbach of Fish & Richardson declined to comment.

Menlo Park, California research institute SRI International for follow-up Cisco, the network technology giant based in San Jose, Calif., In 2013, arguing that its intrusion prevention products infringed two SRI patents. A jury found in 2016 that Cisco had deliberately infringed patents and awarded SRI more than $ 23.6 million in damages.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson double damages in 2017 based on the jury’s finding on the voluntariness and legal fees of IRS and related expenses, bringing the total amount of IRS to more than $ 56.9 million.

Cisco argued on appeal to the Federal Circuit that the patents were invalid, that the court had misinterpreted parts of the patents and that the alleged infringement was unintentional.

The Federal Circuit claimed in 2019 that the patents were valid and infringed, but returned the case due to issues with the jury’s ruling that Cisco’s pre-2012 infringement was intentional (finding that Cisco was unaware patents at the time) and with related damages improvements.

On remand, US District Judge Richard Andrews find last year, that increased damages were not justified at all because the breach was unintentional, but restored compensation to $ 8 million.

SRI appealed, arguing that the jury’s voluntary conclusion was supported by evidence that Cisco’s defenses to the infringement claims were unreasonable, among other things.

Stoll, joined by circuit judges Kathleen O’Malley and Alan Lourie, agreed on Tuesday that Cisco’s post-2012 infringement was deliberate, largely based on evidence that Cisco had no reasonable basis for its infringement defenses .

Stoll said Cisco’s disability defense was based on prior art that was twice rejected by the Patent Office and that a key limitation of the patents at issue was missing. SRI also presented evidence that Cisco has distorted what SRI’s patents cover by arguing against infringement.

The jury’s finding that Cisco instigated others to infringe also supported the decision.

Cisco’s behavior also justified increased damages, the appeals court ruled, citing Cisco’s conduct of the litigation, “the status of the world’s largest networking company,” “an apparent contempt for the IRS and its business model “and losses on” all matters during summary judgment and trial “.

Stoll also claimed the attorney’s fees were appropriate because the case was exceptional.

The case is SRI International Inc v. Cisco Systems Inc, United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-1685.

For SRI: Frank Scherkenbach from Fish & Richardson

For Cisco: Andrew Danford and Bill Lee from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Cisco.)

Read more:

Fed Circuit reduces research center patent against Cisco

Cisco Sentenced to Pay $ 23.7 Million for Network Patent Infringement

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