Everyone's favorite infosec biz – Blue Coat – must cough up $40m to rival in patent rip-off row

From SSL cert blowup to busted infringement appeal


Blue Coat has lost its appeal challenging a nearly $40m patent infringement lawsuit brought by rival security company Finjan.

The California Northern District Court upheld the 2015 jury decision awarding $39,528,487 to Finjan for infringement by Blue Coat on five of its patents:

  • 6,804,780 identifying downloadable files
  • 6,154,844 attaching a security profile to a downloadable
  • 7,418,731 caching on a network gateway
  • 6,965,968 policy-based cache management
  • 7,647,633 mobile code monitoring for security threats

Following last year's verdict, Blue Coat asked Judge Beth Labson Freeman to overturn the ruling and order a new trial, a motion that earlier this week was denied [PDF].

The court shot down the argument from Blue Coat that some evidence Finjan introduced regarding previous patent agreements was inadmissible, as well as Blue Coat's contention that the jury instructions were not properly given out prior to deliberation. As a result, the jury's verdict in favor of Finjan will stand.

This week's decision was not a complete win for Finjan, however. The judge shot down its request that Blue Coat also be required to pick up the bill for attorney fees.

"Blue Coat vigorously defended its position and the Court is not aware of any conduct by Blue Coat that makes this case exceptional," wrote Freeman.

"Blue Coat did not choose to bring this lawsuit, but once sued, defended itself in a determined manner."

Pending further appeals, Blue Coat – which just emerged from an SSL certificate row – will be on the hook for the $39.5m damages award. That sum of money may be less of an issue, however, as Blue Coat recently agreed to an acquisition deal with security giant Symantec worth $4.65bn. This could make paying up to Finjan a bit more palatable. ®


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