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Cisco goes on offense against patent trolls, calls them criminal shakedown artists

Published Nov 12th, 2012 4:29PM EST
Cisco Patent Troll Lawsuit

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Cisco (CSCO) is finished messing around with pointless patent litigation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Cisco has decided to go on offense against firms that purchase patents in bulk and sue other companies for infringement despite not making any products of their own by flat-out accusing them of breaking the law. According to the Journal, “the networking-equipment maker has captured the attention of patent experts and lawyers across the country by filing strongly worded legal claims against two companies that buy up patents and seek to make money from them through licensing and litigation.”

Specifically, Cisco has filed complaints against Ottawa-based Mosaid Technologies Inc. and Chicago-based Innovatio IP Ventures LLC for using “misleading, fraudulent and unlawful” tactics in their attempts to extract patent royalties, including allegedly sending threatening letters to Cisco’s customers and “allegedly paying witnesses for testimony and documents in order ‘to overcome fatal shortcomings’ in patent-infringement claims.” Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler did not mince words when asked about his company’s legal strategy and accused the alleged patent trolls of racketeering.

“When someone runs a racket, we’re going to make them liable for racketeering,” he said. “This is nothing other than a shakedown.”

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.