Cisco beats back $371 mln patent lawsuit after Boston trial

A sign bearing the logo for communications and security tech giant Cisco Systems Inc is seen outside one of its offices in San Jose, California, U.S. REUTERS/Paresh Dave
  • Egenera said Cisco stole technology for computing platform
  • Massachusetts company had asked for at least $371 million in damages

(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc's data-center platforms do not violate a patent owned by Massachusetts-based computing company Egenera Inc, a Boston federal jury said in a verdict made public Tuesday.

The jury rejected Egenera's long-running claim that Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) platform infringes a patent related to computer networking.

Egenera had asked the court for at least $371 million in damages, a Cisco spokesperson said.

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Another Cisco spokesperson said the company was "incredibly proud of our engineers and our proven track record of delivering innovation to meet the needs of our customers and partners."

Egenera and its attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Egenera sued San Jose, California-based Cisco in 2016. It alleged the UCS line of data-server products was "tied to pioneering work done and patented by Egenera," and said Cisco copied its technology after discussing a potential collaboration and hiring away its employees.

The patent at issue covers virtual computer networks that can be reconfigured quickly based on how much computing power is needed. A Massachusetts federal judge declared the patent invalid in 2019 after finding Egenera failed to list all of the relevant inventors, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit revived it and the case in 2020.

The jury decided Monday that Cisco did not infringe the patent. It also rejected Cisco's argument that the patent was invalid.

The case is Egenera Inc v. Cisco Systems Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, No. 1:16-cv-11613.

For Egenera: Andrew Thomases, James Batchelder, Steven Pepe and Samuel Brenner of Ropes & Gray; Mike McCool, Avery Williams, John Campbell and James Quigley of McKool Smith

For Cisco: John Desmarais, Jonas McDavit, Tamir Packin and Peter Magic of Desmarais

Read more:

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at