VirnetX Falls as Texas Jury Struggles in Cisco Patent Case

VirnetX Holding Corp. fell as much as 27 percent after a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, said it was struggling to reach a unanimous verdict in its patent-infringement case against Cisco Systems Inc.

After the jury told the judge it was deadlocked, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis told jurors to continue deliberating. VirnetX was down $5.83, or 16 percent, to $29.84 in New York trading at 3:07 p.m. Earlier, it tumbled as low as $26.02 for its biggest drop since August.

VirnetX contends Cisco infringes four patents for virtual private networks, through which a website owner can securely interact with a customer or an employee can work at home and have protected access to a company’s electronic files. It’s seeking $258 million from San Jose, California-based Cisco.

Cisco, the world’s biggest maker of computer-networking equipment, denies infringing the patents and contends they are invalid. Cisco rose less than 1 cent to $21.58.

VirnetX won a $368.2 million verdict against Apple Inc. in November over the same technology, including two of the same patents, before a different Tyler jury. In 2010, Zephyr Cove, Nevada-based VirnetX reached a $200 million settlement with Microsoft Corp. over the same inventions.

The case is VirnetX Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., 10cv417, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

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