updated 10:49 am EDT, Fri March 15, 2013
Demand for $258 million in damages rejected by jury
Cisco has won in a patent infringement trial against patent-licensing firm VirnetX. A jury in a Texas court found in favor of Cisco Systems, confirming that it did not infringe on VirnetX Holding Corp's patents relating to secure network communications, and rejecting a demand from VirnetX for $258 million in damages.
The patents involved concern an implementation of virtual private networks (VPN), namely those used in Cisco's Unified Communications Manager, Telepresence, or AnyConnect in its routers, phones, and software, reports Bloomberg. The patents themselves are being reviewed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, though this was not disclosed to jurors during the trial.
General counsel for Cisco Mark Chandler thanked the jury for agreeing "with Cisco that our accused products do not use VirnetX's technology," and that Cisco would "continue to do the right thing for our customers and shareholders by vigorously defending against patent infringement lawsuits that lack merit." Hours before the verdict, Chandler testified before the House Judiciary Committee on patent litigation, and revealed that Cisco spends $50 million per year fighting 50 lawsuits against patent owners, many of which do not make products that use the patents.
While this is a setback to VirnetX, it has managed to win other cases under the same or similar patents. It claimed $200 million from Microsoft in 2010, while last month, a ruling that Apple had to pay $368 million to VirnetX was upheld and expanded, forcing Apple to pay $330,211 per day until the two companies settle on royalties and other factors.