Cisco sees off patent troll

Networking giant Cisco has managed to see off the patent troll, er, patent licensing firm, VirnetX.

According to Ars TechnicaVirnetX, which has 14 employees, has seen its stock price plummet after it lost a major patent trial in Texas.

A jury there ruled that Cisco did not infringe VirnetX’s patents on virtual private networks (VPNs), and that the networking giant didn’t have to pay $258 million in damages.

Seconds afterwards the company’s stock quickly fell by 40 percent and has since fallen another seven percent.

VirnetX had a lot riding on the Cisco case, losing nearly $27 million in 2012.

Patent trolls love having cases in Texas because the juries there are a little more sympathetic to patent holders.

Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler was, of course, over the moon. He was happy that a jury in Tyler, Texas, agreed with Cisco and added that Cisco will continue to do the “right thing” for its customers and shareholders by defending against patent infringement lawsuits that lack merit.

It is unlikely that the outfit will go away anytime soon and it has had a lot of success in the past. So far VirnetX has sued Cisco, Apple, and NEC. It won over $368 million from Apple earlier this year. It still has some separate litigation pending against Apple and Mitel.

VirnetX squeezed $200 million in a related patent case with Microsoft in 2010. In fact Vole was VirnetX’s first patent licensee.