Business VoIP Featured Article

Cisco Sues Texas VoIP Company Estech Systems for Patent Infringement

July 22, 2021

By Laura Stotler, Business VoIP Contributing Editor

Cisco is suing Texas-based Estech Systems (ESI), a provider of cloud and VoIP solutions, for willfully infringing three of its VoIP patents. The lawsuit also asks for declaratory relief relating to its non-infringement patents. Those patents are already the subject of additional infringement litigation initiated by Estech.

According to the filing, Estech approached Cisco in 2018 about a possible acquisition of its VoIP offerings but Cisco declined. While making the decision, Cisco discovered that "Estech's product portfolio was largely duplicative of intellectual property Cisco already owned (and had developed itself)."

The lawsuit specifically alleges that Estech has and continues to make and sell products and systems that infringe on three Cisco patents. Those solutions include VoIP phone systems, network-connected devices and networking equipment. Specific products named include the ESI ePhone8, ESI ePhone4x and ESI 60 Business Phone. LAN, networking equipment and communications applications like the ESI Presence and ESI Intellitouch are also named in the suit.

The lawsuit makes clear that Cisco was a VoIP pioneer and has made advancements in the space over the years, selling VoIP communications devices, systems and services in addition to its networking and cybersecurity solutions.

Cisco is also asking for declatory relief in response to alleged Estech "harassment" of its customers. The move is in response to a series of 10 lawsuits filed in April and May of 2020 against purchasers of Cisco VoIP phone devices and systems that Estech alleges infringed on one or more of the company's patents.

Estech is currently involved in a slew of lawsuits relating to its intellectual property. In April of 2020, the company filed suit against Target and Wells Fargo for infringing on patents related to providing robust, feature-rich communications systems. That same month, the company also filed a suit against PlainsCapital Bank for infringing on patents related to telecom solutions and services. In July of 2020, Estech filed suit against Regions Financial Corporation for patent infringement, while in August of 2020, the company also filed suit against U.S. Dermatology Partners for patent infringement.

Edited by Luke Bellos



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