Cisco accused of false patent marking

A man has launched a legal action in an Illinois district court against Cisco, and accused it of selling products with false patent marketing.

Thomas A. Simonian, the plaintiff, says in his complaint that he is bring the action on behalf of the public for false patent marking under 35 USC §292.

He allges that some of its products, including Internet Protocol Set Top Boxes no. IPN330HD is marked with US patent number 4,498,169, although that patent expired on March 14th, 2003 and a number of other patents which have also expired.

The “defendant marks its products with the expired patents with the intent to deceive the public and to gain a competitive advantage in the market,” the plaintiff alleges.

Simonian wants monetary damages against Cisco for $500 for each of the alleged offences. He wants one half to go to the US and the other half to him. He wants a jury to award him the costs of bringing the action.

The filing continues: “Defendant intentionally marked its products with the expired patents in an attempt to prevent competitors from entering the market and for the purpose of deceiving the public into believing that something contained in or embodied in the products is covered by or protected by the expired patents.”