SRI International, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., No. 20-1685 (Fed. Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
SRI alleged that Cisco infringed its patents, titled “Network Surveillance” and “Hierarchical Event Monitoring and Analysis.” A jury found infringement, awarded $23,660,000 in compensatory damages, and found that Cisco’s infringement was willful. The district court determined that substantial evidence—including that certain Cisco employees did not read the asserted patents until their depositions, that Cisco designed the products in an infringing manner, and that Cisco instructed its customers to use those products in an infringing manner—supported the willfulness finding and awarded SRI attorney fees and costs, noting that “Cisco pursued litigation about as aggressively as the court has seen,” and doubling the damages award.
The Federal Circuit remanded, noting it was undisputed that Cisco did not know of SRI’s patents until after May 2012, and “the record is insufficient to establish that Cisco’s conduct rose to the level of wanton, malicious, and bad-faith behavior required for willful infringement.” On remand, the district court held that substantial evidence did not support the verdict of willful infringement after May 2012 and again found the case “exceptional.”
The Federal Circuit reversed. Substantial evidence supports the finding of willful infringement. The court restored the award of enhanced damages and affirmed the award of attorney fees.