Cisco ordered to pay $1.9 billion in patent infringement lawsuit
A U.S. Court has ordered San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems Inc to pay $1.9 billion to start-up Centripetal Networks Inc – a Virginia company that accused Cisco of infringing on four of its cybersecurity patents. In the case – Centripetal Networks Inc v Cisco Systems Inc, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Judge – Judge Henry Morgan concluded after a month-long non-jury trial that Cisco infringed four patents belonging to Centripetal Networks Inc, of Herndon, Virginia.
The Judge in a 167-page decision said that the case was "not a close call," as he cited inconsistencies in Cisco's evidence and that its own technical documents, many of which Centripetal itself introduced at trial, "proving Centripetal's case."
The payout includes an $1.89 billion award, reflecting $755.8 million in actual damages suffered by privately held Centripetal multiplied by 2.5 to reflect Cisco's "willful and egregious" conduct, plus prejudgment interest.
"Cisco did not advance any objectively reasonable defenses at trial" as to the four patents, the order stated.
"The infringing functionality was added to their accused products post June 20, 2017, and resulted in a dramatic increase in sales which Cisco touted in both technical and marketing documents," he added.
Cisco plans to appeal to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
In its lawsuit, cybersecurity solutions provider Centripetal Networks alleged that Cisco had incorporated the Centripetal's network protection technology into its own products within a year of having presented to the networking giant according to sources. Centripetal, founded in 2009, focuses on using threat intelligence software and firewall hardware to protect cyber networks.
"With this judgment, the court rejected the primitive doctrine that might makes right," Paul Andre, a lawyer for Centripetal, said in a statement. "This is a significant win for all small, innovative companies."