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Two New Lawsuits: Finjan (FNJN) vs Avast/AVG and Cisco

By Lisa Thompson, CFA


Finjan Sues Avast for AVG Products

Finjan (NASDAQ:FNJN) filed suit on January 20, 2017 against Avast Software and AVG Technologies NV for more than $15.4 million in damages. While Avast had licensed Finjan’s patents back in Q4 2015 for $2.975 million, this license does not cover products made by AVG, which was acquired by Avast on October 3, 2016, well after this license agreement was struck. Finjan is claiming AVG makes products that infringe on six of its patents, and licensing negotiations with Avast over the inventions have been unsuccessful. Finjan is suing Avast for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and both Avast and AVG for willful infringement of Finjan's patents 6,154,844; 7,930,299; 7,975,305; 8,079,086; 8,141,154; and 8,677,494.

Avast Software,
located in Redwood City, California, acquired AVG for $1.3 billion. This price was reported to be 2.9 times AVG’s expected 2016 revenues. That would put AVG’s 2016 revenues at approximately $450 million. Avast claimed that revenues for Avast combined with AVG would be approximately $700 million in 2016. Avast is private held, but expected to IPO some time in 2017.

Finjan Sues Its Shareholder Cisco

Despite being the fourth largest shareholder and owning 7% of Finjan, Cisco has turned out not to be immune from being sued for patent infringement. On January 7, 2017, Finjan filed case number 5:17-cv-00072, in its home court of Northern District of California alleging infringement of U.S. patent numbers: 6,154,844, 6,804,780, 7,647,633, 8,141,154, and 8,677,494. All five of those patents have already been successfully defended in court. In the action, Finjan is seeking, among other things, a preliminary and permanent injunction, an award to Finjan of damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

Neither of these lawsuits has gotten a response, and we assume that unless these cases are settled, any proceeds would come beyond our forecast range, thus there are no changes to estimates at this time. We do not know if these parties are any of those that were expected to license Finjan’s patents in Q4 2016.


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