Cisco wins wireless net hand-off patent battle

Campus net tech didn't infringe Commil's IP

While most of the world was sleeping off its Christmas food-fest, appeals judges in the US killed off a long-running lawsuit against Cisco.

In the eight-year sueball spat, a company called Commil USA reckoned The Borg had infringed its US patent 6,430,395 ("Wireless private branch exchange and communicating between mobile units and base stations"). Commil USA was created to acquire an Israeli developer called Commil, and launched the lawsuit in 2007.

Commil's complaint was that Cisco infringed the patent by implementing a hand-off from one base station to another as wireless users moved around large networks.

As Reuters reports, a federal jury sided with Commil in 2011, awarding nearly US$64 million in damages (plus more than $10 million in interest added by a judge).

The to-and-fro of the case saw that decision batted to the Washington DC Federal Circuit, which ordered a new trial in 2013; then to the supremes, which in May 2015 sent the case back to the Federal Circuit.

As Ars notes, last week's decision looks like the trip to the Supreme Court was entirely unnecessary.

The decision can be found here. ®


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