Cisco has been ordered by federal court to pay $64 million to a Texas company in a patent infringement case. This is after Cisco was already ordered to pay Commil USA $3.7 million, but that verdict was thrown out and a new trial ordered after Cisco attorneys made insensitive remarks about the plaintiff's religion.
Cisco was found to have infringed on Commil's patents on wireless transmission technology for setting up wireless communications between PBXes, mobile units, and base stations. The patent, issued in 2002, covers a way of maintaining network connections through a series of base stations so a person with a laptop computer, mobile phone, or Bluetooth-enabled device doesn't lose the signal while walking through a building, according to this story in Bloomberg.
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Sounds a lot like the Mobile Link feature in Cisco's new IP phones for SMBs....
In the first trial, Commil won the suit but felt the almost $4 million award was too small. But Commil got the new trial due to Cisco attorney Otis Carroll's perceived anti-Semitic remarks during cross examination of Commil principal Jonathan David, who is Jewish. The judge ruled Carroll's remarks may have prejudiced the jury.
Cisco plans to appeal the new verdict, according to the Bloomberg story. Hopefully, it will keep the religious references to a minimum.