Cisco Claims First Victory Against Arista in Legal Dispute

The International Trade Commission (ITC) today issued a ruling in the ongoing legal battle between Cisco and Arista. Long story short, it’s not good news for Arista.

Arista was founded in 2008 by former Cisco staffers, including CEO Jayshree Ullal, who had spent 15 years as a Cisco employee. In December 2014, Cisco sued Arista, alleging patent infringement on no less than 14 different U.S. patents.

The initial ITC ruling has found that Arista has violated at least three of Cisco’s patents, including: U.S. Patent 7,162,537 (“[E]xternally Managing Router Configuration Data … With A Centralized Database”) (Sysdb) and U.S. Patent Nos. 6,741,592 and 7,200,145 (Private VLANs).

“Arista can no longer support claims to customers, resellers, and the market that they created products from a clean sheet of paper,” Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler wrote in a blog post. “The patents in question go to the core of Arista’s products.”

The ITC ruling at this point is still preliminary. A full determination is expected to be published in the next 30 days. Chandler expect that the ruling could lead to a banning of all Arista switches.

Chandler also noted that there is a second ITC investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Arista that could further Cisco’s claims of intellectual property infringement.

Arista executives have steadfastly denied Cisco’s accusations and continued to do so today as well.

“Despite its accusations of ‘stealing,’ not one single line of Arista software comes from Cisco,” Kenneth Duda, Arista CTO, wrote in a blog post. “All of our code is either written by us or properly licensed from third parties.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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