Double Summary Judgment Secured for Juniper Networks

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March 2013

Irell & Manella delivered another victory for long-time client Juniper Networks, securing a double summary judgment ruling that all patent claims asserted against Juniper by Implicit Networks were both invalid and not infringed.

Implicit Networks sued Juniper and four other large technology companies in 2010, alleging infringement based on a pair of patents related to a method for processing data in a computer network. Implicit had previously asserted related patent claims against other technology companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, Intel and IBM, among others, resulting in millions of dollars in license payments to Implicit. One of these prior defendants had put Implicit’s “flagship” patent into ex parte reexamination, where it survived with amendments and a number of new claims.

In its complaint, Implicit alleged that virtually all of Juniper’s product offerings—which account for approximately $4 billion per year in revenue—fell within the scope of Implicit’s patent claims. Juniper initiated inter partes reexamination proceedings for both of Implicit’s patents, and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) ultimately rejected all of Implicit’s asserted claims.

Juniper moved for summary judgment of both invalidity and non-infringement. With less than two months before trial, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston granted both motions. In a detailed 30-page opinion that relied heavily on Juniper's expert and the statements of the PTO in the ongoing reexamination proceedings, Judge Illston found that Implicit’s patents were both anticipated and obvious. In addition to the invalidity rulings, the court found that Juniper's products didn't infringe the patent claims anyway.

As stated by the Daily Journal: “After years of lobbing complaints and brokering settlements with Silicon Valley tech companies, [Implicit] may have finally met its match in San Francisco.”

The Irell team included Morgan Chu, Jonathan Kagan, David McPhie, Nima Hefazi and Chris Vieira. Rebecca Carson also provided assistance. The case is Implicit Networks v. Juniper Networks in the Northern District of California.