Cisco Files VoIP Patent Complaint Against Estech

Cisco Systems Inc. filed suit against Estech Systems Inc. for the willful infringement of three of its patents relating to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) on Thursday. Additionally, the Eastern District of Texas complaint asks for declaratory relief concerning its non-infringement patents that are the subject of other Estech-initiated infringement litigation.

The filing explains that in addition to its networking, communications, and cybersecurity solutions, Cisco sells VoIP communications devices, systems, and services. The complaint asserts that Cisco was a pioneer in the VoIP technology field and over time has continued to advance the market. Among other examples, Cisco points to its acquisitions of companies that “add to its already robust networking products, talent, and experience in order to further extend its offerings into enterprise-wide VoIP offerings.”

The filing states that Plano, Texas-based Estech approached Cisco in 2018 about a possible acquisition, but Cisco declined. It reached the decision owing to the alleged fact that “Estech’s product portfolio was largely duplicative of intellectual property Cisco already owned (and had developed itself).”

The complaint asserts that Estech has and continues to make and sell products and systems,  including VoIP telephone systems, network-connected devices, and networking equipment like its ESI ePhone8, ESI ePhone4x, the ESI 60 Business Phone, and local area networks, networking equipment, and communication applications, including ESI Presence and ESI Intellitouch, that infringe on the three patents-in-suit.

The filing explains that Cisco seeks declaratory relief in response to Estech’s purported harassment of Cisco’s customers. In April and May of 2020, Estech initiated ten lawsuits against purchasers of VoIP  telephone devices and systems alleging infringement of one or more of Estech’s patents. 

Despite allegations that Cisco provides some products and services Estech accused of infringement, it has reportedly declined to implead Cisco or the vendors of any other accused products. Nevertheless, Cisco seeks a court order declaring its non-infringement of those four patents.

Cisco Systems is represented by K&L Gates LLP and Gillam & Smith LLP.