Jury Returns Noninfringement Verdict for Juniper in Finjan Suit Amidst Uncertainty over Definition of “Schema”

December 28, 2018

A California jury has issued a verdict of noninfringement for Juniper Networks in litigation brought by Finjan, Inc., finding that the defendant’s SRX and Sky ATP products do not infringe a single claim from one of the NPE’s anti-malware patents (3:17-cv-05659). The issue of infringement turned on whether the accused products contain a “database”, based on a stipulated definition of that claim term that includes the word “schema”, as itself defined in the IBM Dictionary of Computing (“IBM Dictionary”). The jury appears to have struggled with the definition of “schema”, asking the court on the last day of trial if it could refer to the IBM Dictionary definition of that term—a request that District Judge William Alsup denied because the dictionary had not been entered into evidence. The trial did not ultimately address the issue of patent subject matter eligibility, as the court had previously indicated; while the parties had proposed competing jury instructions and verdict forms on Section 101 at Judge Alsup’s apparent insistence, the parties stipulated shortly before trial that the court would decide the issue. No such ruling on patent eligibility has yet issued.

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