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Cisco hit with $70m ruling in XpertUniverse case

A US federal jury has ordered Cisco to pay $70 million (£46 million) in civil fraud damages to XpertUniverse over a partnership gone wrong, Bloomberg has reported (opens in new tab).

The Wilmington, Delaware jury also found that Cisco violated two patents held by XpertUniverse. Cisco, which is the world’s largest provider of networking equipment, was ordered to pay more than $33,000 (£22,000) in patent infringement fines.

XpertUniverse sued Cisco for “fraudulent concealment,” alleging that Cisco executives strung the company along for more than six months under auspices of a possible a deal, without having revealed that the prospect of partnership had been rejected by Cisco. That “led to the destruction of the company” by having prevented XpertUniverse from going after alternative deals, the New York-based firm argued.

Cisco, meanwhile, countered that XpertUniverse “never had a product, customers or revenue,” which dissuaded Cisco from pursuing its original interest in a partnership.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” Kristin Carvell, a Cisco spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg. “We are confident that Cisco’s conduct was appropriate throughout our relationship with XpertUniverse.”

“We do not believe the evidence presented at trial supports this verdict, and as a result, there are a number of issues for the judge to consider that will determine whether this verdict remains intact,” Carvell added. “If necessary, we will pursue an appeal.”