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Post-trial motions against $1.9B award rejected

Although Cisco argued it was entitled to a new trial because a prior ruling ordering it to pay $1.9 billion for infringing a startup’s cybersecurity patents included new theories of infringement and damages not presented by the plaintiff, the infringement theories and damages were supported by record and the law. Its motion was denied.


Defendant, Cisco Systems Inc. filed a Rule 59(a)(2) motion for a new trial regarding the court’s rulings as to the ’176 patent and the ’806 patent as well as a new trial as to willfulness and damages. Cisco simultaneously filed a Rule 52(b) motion regarding direct infringement, damages and an amended judgment as well as a Rule 54(b) request for partial judgment.


Cisco alleges that the court ruled on its own in fixing the date of Cisco’s first infringement. The evidence contradicts this claim. The date was put forth by Centripetal, based upon a Cisco publication, acknowledged by Cisco’s own damages expert during his trial testimony and certainly was not a sua sponte ruling of the court.

Cisco challenged the court’s calculation of damages in both its Rule 52(b) and 59(a)(2) motions. The court finds that Centripetal has proven that the sales data of the “accused products” which it produced was embedded with and sold in combination with the infringing technology continued Centripetal’s patents ’806, ’856, ’176 and ’193.

The court further finds that Centripetal accurately computed its damages based upon the correct data supplied by Cisco using a proper model including apportionment and the Georgia-Pacific factors approved by the Federal Circuit, and that Centripetal is entitled to damages based upon worldwide sales as Centripetal proved direct infringement of the four patents remaining in issue. Insofar as Cisco’s Rule 59(a) and 52(b) and 54(b) motions relied upon arguments to the contrary they are denied.

Cisco’s motion pursuant to Rules 52(b) and 54(b) challenged the court’s finding that the ’856 patent was directly infringed. Cisco attached affidavits from Mr. Daniel Llewallyn and Mr. Peter Jones, its distinguished engineers, to its initial Rule 59(a)(2) motion for a new trial. However the court finds that Cisco did so infringe and denies this portion of Cisco’s motions based upon its claimed noninfringement of the ’856 patent. And because the court finds that Jones’ testimony corroborated Centripetal’s own expert testimony, it accordingly denies both Cisco’s Rule 52b/54b and its 59(a)(2) motion insofar as they are based upon its alleged noninfringement of the ’806 patent.

Cisco challenges the court’s finding that the accused products directly infringed the ’193 patent in its Rule 52(b)/54(b) motion. As it did at trial, Cisco attempts to ignore the content of its technical documents that Centripetal introduced in evidence as well as the clear inferences to be drawn from them. A Rule 52(b) motion should not be granted when it “constitute[s] nothing more than an invitation to the district court to reverse itself.” Accordingly insofar as its Rule 52(b)/54(b) motion relies on Centripetal’s alleged failure to prove direct infringement of the ’193 patent, such motion is denied.

Cisco challenged the court’s ruling that the ‘176 patent was infringed by the accused products in both its Rule 52(b)/Rule 54(b) motion and its Rule 59(a)(2) motion. The court again observes that Cisco’s own documents contradict its arguments. What Cisco attempts to classify as sua sponte originated in the patent itself, was the subject of cross-examination of Cisco’s retained expert Dr. Almeroth as well as Cisco’s direct examination of its distinguished engineer, Mr. Llewallyn and was corroborated by Cisco’s own published documents and explanatory text. The court denies both Cisco’s Rule 59(a)(2) motion and its Rule 52(b)/54(b) motion insofar as each motion relies upon its claim that Centripetal failed to prove infringement of the ’176 patent.

While Cisco did not directly address willfulness in its brief in support of its Rule 59(a)(2) motion, it did argue the point in its reply/rebuttal brief. The court found that Cisco utilized its footprint in the marketplace and financial prowess to the detriment of Centripetal and its conduct was willful and egregious.

Cisco’s post-trial motions denied.

Centripetal Networks Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., Case No. 2:18-cv-94, March 17, 2021. EDVA at Norfolk (Morgan). VLW 021-3-112. 50 pp.

VLW 021-3-112