Juniper; Palo Alto settle long-running firewall patent lawsuits

Juniper to receive $175 million in cash and equity in settlement

Juniper Networks and Palo Alto Networks today agreed to settle their long-running firewall-related patent infringement lawsuits against each other, with Juniper saying Palo Alto Networks has agreed to pay $175 million in cash and equity as part of the settlement.

“Juniper Networks initiated this litigation in order to protect our intellectual property and investment in innovation that is reflected in our leading security products,” said Mitchell Gaynor, executive vice president and general counsel, Juniper Networks. “This settlement fully achieves those objectives, and we are very pleased with this resolution.”

Under the agreement, Palo Alto Networks will make a one-time payment of $75 million in cash and $100 million in shares of common stock and warrants to purchase common stock. Under the settlement, both sides agree to dismiss all patent litigation in Delaware and California. Both companies agreed to cross-license the disputed patents to each other and not attempt further litigation for eight years.

+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD Juniper not giving up firewall patent fight against Palo Alto Networks +

The long-running disputes between the two focused on application-firewall patents. In March, Juniper’s case against Palo Alto went to court in Delaware, but ended in a mistrial. Juniper vowed to battle on, even as Palo Alto had counter-sued with its own patent claims against Juniper.

Palo Alto Networks downplayed the significance of the settlement in which it has agreed  to pay $175 million in cash and equity.

“We have reached a settlement with Juniper and are pleased to put this behind us,” said Mark McLaughlin, president and CEO of Palo Alto. “While we are confident of our position in the case, we believe this outcome is in the best long-term interest of our shareholders and customers as it allows us to further focus our efforts on what we do best: innovating, growing the business, and solving the toughest cybersecurity problems for our customers.”

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com

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