Cisco sued for PoE patent infringement

Canadian licensor claims illegal use of PoE property

Canadian intellectual property licensor Mosaid Technologies this week said it is suing Cisco for patent infringement, filing its compliant with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington.

Mosaid asserts that six of its patents are infringed by certain Cisco products, including Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches and routers, DSL and cable modem wireless access points, PoE IP phones and VoIP cable modems. Mosaid is requesting that the ITC halt the "unlawful importation and sale" of these and certain other Cisco products in the United States.

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"We filed this complaint with the ITC because we believe that Cisco, the global market leader in PoE-enabled networking and communications products, is infringing Mosaid's PoE patents and requires a license," said John Lindgren, Mosaid president and CEO, in a statement. "We are determined to protect our intellectual property for the ultimate benefit of our shareholders."

Mosaid's patents relate primarily to PoE. Mosaid and Cisco are currently involved in a patent infringement litigation case with respect to 10 of Mosaid's PoE patents, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

That case was initiated by Cisco last August. The six patents at issue in Mosaid's ITC complaint are also part of the Delaware case.

Cisco says Mosaid's latest complaint seeks to circumvent the Delaware litigation.

"Cisco filed a declaratory judgment action in Delaware because we believe our products do not infringe MOSAID's patents, and we are disappointed that MOSAID is now attempting to evade the jurisdiction of the Delaware court," the company said in an emailed statement. "Further, it is ironic that a Canadian company that purchases patents can claim to be a 'domestic industry' seeking to have the ITC -- a US government office created to protect US manufacturers -- block Cisco from being able to sell its products in the US. With more than 10,000 engineers and 7500 patents in the US, Cisco has long been viewed as one of our country's top innovators."

Cisco was ordered to pay $112 million to patent acquirer and licensor Network-1 Security Solutions last year in a PoE infringement case.

Mosaid owns and licenses patented intellectual property. Its property includes semiconductor and communications system patents, and it also develops semiconductor memory technology.

Mosaid is based in Ottawa, Ontario.

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