Cisco Nexus switches.pchow98
Cisco has finally quashed a long-running lawsuit brought by an Israeli patent-holding company called Commil USA. The case took a surprising number of detours, including a trip to the Supreme Court last year that looks almost unnecessary in hindsight.
In an opinion (PDF) published Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that Cisco’s non-infringement argument should have won the day at trial, and there was no justification for a jury’s $64 million verdict against the networking giant. The opinion overturns the verdict, leaving Commil with nothing to show for a case it has pursued since 2007.
Monday’s decision puts the Federal Circuit in an awkward position, because they had already considered the case before in 2013. At that time, the three-judge panel chose to punt on the non-infringement argument, simply not ruling on it—yet now the same panel views it as a decisive point in Cisco’s favor.
In 2013, a two-judge majority on the panel found that Cisco should have been allowed to tell the jury they had a “good faith belief” that the patent was invalid. The jury instructions were thus improper, and the appeals judges kicked the case back down to the trial court in the Eastern District of Texas.