A federal jury in Virginia delivered a significant verdict on Wednesday, awarding cybersecurity company Centripetal Networks a total of $151.5 million in damages. The jury found that Palo Alto Networks, a rival in the cybersecurity sector, had violated Centripetal’s patent rights.
The unanimous decision by the jury supported Centripetal’s claim that Palo Alto’s security software infringed on four patents related to Centripetal’s innovative “threat intelligence gateway” network-security technology, Reuters news report said.
In response to the verdict, a spokesperson for Palo Alto Networks stated that they believe the decision is “contrary to both the law and the extensive evidence we presented at trial.” The company intends to appeal the decision.
Centripetal, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, initiated the lawsuit against Palo Alto in 2021. The company alleged that Palo Alto’s Cortex cybersecurity platform, NextGen firewalls, and other software infringed upon patents related to technology designed to block security threats from infiltrating computer networks. In addition to seeking monetary damages, Centripetal requested a court order to halt Palo Alto’s alleged infringement.
Palo Alto Networks argued during the trial that its technology operates differently from Centripetal’s patented inventions and further contended that the patents in question were invalid.
This legal battle follows Centripetal’s previous notable victory in 2020 when a Virginia federal judge awarded the cybersecurity company $2.75 billion, marking the largest award in U.S. patent history. The judge had determined that Cisco Systems’ cybersecurity products violated separate Centripetal patents.
However, the award was subsequently overturned on appeal, and a different Virginia judge ruled in favor of Cisco last year after a rehearing. The current jury decision against Palo Alto Networks adds another chapter to Centripetal’s efforts to protect its intellectual property in the cybersecurity domain.