March 22, 2013 / 6:55 PM / 6 years ago

Cisco ordered to pay $70 million in civil fraud patent case

(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc must pay $70 million in damages to patent licenser XpertUniverse Inc for fraudulently obtaining technology developed by the New York company, a jury found on Friday, according to court filings.

A Cisco office is pictured in San Diego, California November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The jury also found that Cisco violated two XpertUniverse patents, and awarded an additional $34,000 in damages on those claims.

Cisco, the world’s largest manufacturer of networking equipment, said it would appeal if the judge leaves the jury verdict intact.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” Cisco said in an emailed statement after the verdict was delivered in a Delaware federal court.

XpertUniverse claimed in the lawsuit that San Jose, California-based Cisco’s “Expert on Demand” software platform was based on software that XpertUniverse developed.

XpertUniverse said Cisco violated a non-disclosure agreement it had signed and filed for patents on technology developed by XpertUniverse. It said the companies had entered a relationship in which Cisco would distribute technology XpertUniverse had developed to efficiently match customers with call center experts.

XpertUniverse said that the companies signed the non-disclosure agreement before it showed Cisco “every aspect of its intellectual property.”

Cisco approached XpertUniverse in 2004 and the companies worked together until 2007, when Cisco severed the relationship, XpertUniverse said in its lawsuit.

The next year, Cisco announced it was launching “Expert on Demand.” XpertUniverse filed its lawsuit in 2009.

In a court filing this week, Cisco told U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews in Wilmington that “no evidence exists from which the jury could find in favor of XU on either its fraudulent concealment or patent claims.”

XpertUniverse attorney Charles Cantine of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP said the company was “obviously very happy” with the verdict.

The case in U.S. District Court, District of Delaware is XpertUniverse Inc. vs. Cisco Systems Inc., 09-157.

Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco and Erin Geiger Smith in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and David Gregorio

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