Commil USA is an Israeli patent-holding company, which says its patent number 6,430,395 solves the problem of “how to manage ‘hand-offs’ between different base stations that together provide wireless coverage over a large area.” Rather than using old base stations, the invention “provides a novel architecture that includes a new hardware device called a switch,'” Commil lawyers explain in their brief.
In 2007, Commil sued Cisco in the Eastern District of Texas, saying that its “Split-MAC WLAN systems” infringe the patent. Technically, though, it’s Cisco’s customers who were said to infringe the patent, which describes the invention in a series of “method claims.” Commil lawyers said that Cisco’s customers violate those claims any time they use one of an array of “Split-MAC” products that Cisco acquired when it bought a company called Airespace. The company introduced its “Split-MAC” concept in 2002, more than a year after the priority date of Commil’s patent, according to Commil.
The issue that has the high court’s attention in Commil v. Cisco is how a defendant should be allowed to defend itself from accusations of infringement. Cisco says, essentially, that when it comes to proving secondhand infringement, intent matters. It should have been allowed to present evidence that showed it had a “good-faith belief of invalidity” to the jury, which the trial judge prevented it from doing.
Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply