CAFC reverses ED Texas in Commil v. Cisco
From the decision:
This case returns to us on remand from the Supreme
Court. See Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 135 S.
Ct. 1920 (2015). While our previous opinion had remanded
this case to the district court for a new trial, Commil
USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 720 F.3d 1361, 1372 (Fed.
Cir. 2013), when we received the case back from the
Supreme Court we granted Cisco’s request to retain the
case and address Cisco’s remaining non-infringement
arguments which we had declined to address in our
previous opinion. ECF No. 101. We now conclude that
substantial evidence does not support the jury’s finding
that Cisco’s devices, when used, perform the “running”
step of the asserted claims. The district court’s judgment
is therefore reversed.1
Because we find none of Commil’s other arguments
persuasive, we conclude that substantial evidence does
not support the jury’s necessary finding that Cisco’s
devices, when used, perform the “running” step of the
claims. Because this conclusion precludes liability under
either of Commil’s direct or inducement theories, we
reverse the judgment of the district court.
A bit of history:
The jury concluded that Commil’s patent was
valid, that Cisco was liable for direct but not induced
infringement, and awarded $3.7 million in damages.
Commil then filed a motion for a new trial on induced
infringement and damages, which the district court
granted. The second jury concluded that Cisco was liable
for induced infringement and awarded $63.7 million in
Cisco thereafter appealed to us, raising a number of
issues. A split panel affirmed in part, vacated in part,
and remanded for a new trial. Commil, 720 F.3d at 1361.
Because we were remanding for a new trial, we did not
reach certain of Cisco’s arguments on non-infringement
and damages. Id. at 1372. Following that decision,
Commil sought certiorari on the limited question of
whether a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid is a
defense to induced infringement. The Supreme Court
granted certiorari, reversed the majority’s decision on
that issue, and vacated and remanded back to us.
Upon return to this court, Cisco requested that we
address its non-infringement arguments that a majority
of this panel previously had declined to decide. Specifically,
Cisco contends that Commil cannot prevail on its
infringement charges because neither Cisco nor its customers
directly infringe by performing both method steps.