Mistrial declared in patent infringement lawsuit filed by Juniper Networks

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Mar 11, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) -- A federal court has declared a mistrial in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Juniper Networks against Palo Alto Networks.

Judge Sue L. Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware said Friday jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

Juniper, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., manufactures networking equipment. Palo Alto, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is a network security company. Its core product, like Juniper, is firewall technology.

Firewalls are designed to permit or deny network transmissions based on a set of rules, and often are used to protect networks from unauthorized access while permitting legitimate communications to pass.

Juniper filed the lawsuit in December 2011, claiming Palo Alto's products infringed on six of its patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,077,723; 7,779,459; 7,650,634; 7,302,700; 7,093,280; and 6,772,347.

Click here to view the complaint.

"This is a civil action for the willful infringement of the patents-in-suit by defendant PAN, a company founded by several former high-level employees of Juniper to compete against Juniper," the company wrote in its Dec. 19, 2011 complaint.

"(Nir) Zuk and (Yuming) Mao are acutely aware of the patents-in-suit and the significance of the patented inventions to firewall technology."

The trial began Feb. 24. Oral arguments concluded March 4. However, jurors were unable to come to a unanimous verdict.

"From the outset, we said we would vigorously defend the company against Juniper's lawsuit," said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks.

"We continue to stand by our position that we do not infringe on their patents and are committed to delivering innovation and providing the network security market with disruptive technologies."

A new trial date has not been scheduled by the court.

"Juniper brought the suit in order to protect our intellectual property and investment in innovation," a company spokesperson said.

"While we wish this jury had been able to reach a unanimous conclusion, we look forward to presenting our case to a new jury in the near future."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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