Judge orders Cisco to pay $1.9B in U.S. patent lawsuit: Cisco will appeal

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A judge orders Cisco to pay $1.9 billion for infringing on four patents held by another company, but it plans to appeal. (Pixabay)

On Monday, a U.S. judge ordered Cisco to pay $1.9 billion to a Virginia company that had accused it of violating four patents related to security.

U.S. District Judge Henry Morgan, in Norfolk, Virginia, concluded that Cisco had infringed on four patents that belonged to Centripetal Networks, but found no infringement by Cisco on a fifth, according to a story by Reuters.

Centripetal Networks had developed a network protection system, which was partially funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, only to see Cisco integrate the inventions into its own networks after meetings and presentations by Centripetal officials, according to a story by Bloomberg.

In his 167-page decision, Judge Morgan said the case was not a close call due to inconsistencies in Cisco's evidence. The judge also said Cisco's own technical documents, many of which Centripetal introduced at the trial, "proved Centripetal's case," according to Reuters.

Judge Morgan said the fact that Cisco released products with Centripetal's functionality within a year of the two companies meeting "goes beyond mere coincidence," according to Bloomberg.

The payout included 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, according to Reuters.

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Cisco said it would appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

“We are disappointed with the trial court’s decision given the substantial evidence of non-infringement, invalidity and that Cisco’s innovations predate the patents by many years,” Cisco said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

Privately-held Centripetal Networks was founded in 2009 and has raised a total of $38 million, according to Crunchbase.