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Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has been ordered to pay $70 million in damages to XpertUniverse Inc. for “fraud by concealment,” a Federal jury in Delaware found Friday, according to Reuters. Cisco was also found guilty of violating two of XpertUniverse Inc.’s patents, for which it must pay damages of $34,000. Cisco has already said that if the judge leaves the jury’s verdict intact and does not adjust the dollar amount of the damages, it will appeal. The company also released an email statement after the verdict was delivered, saying: “We are surprised and extremely disappointed with the jury’s verdict. We are confident that Cisco’s conduct was appropriate throughout our relationship with XpertUniverse.”
XpertUniverse and Cisco used to do business with each other, starting in 2004 and lasting into 2007, when Cisco ended the business relationship. The basis of the lawsuit was Cisco’s ”Expert on Demand” software that Cisco released in 2008. XpertUniverse claimed in court that Cisco’s software was based on software that XpertsUniverse had developed and shown to Cisco, after Cisco signed a non-disclosure agreement.
XpertUniverse said that the nature of the two companies’ business relationship was that Cisco would distribute the the software XpertUniverse had developed to better match callers to experts at call centers. Cisco then turned around and filed for patents for that technology, XpertUniverse claimed, and released its “Expert on Demand” software platform, which was named the same as XpertUniverse’s software system. XpertUniverse filed its lawsuit against Cisco in 2009.
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