ITC judge finds Arista in violation of 3 Cisco patents

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The International Trade Commission has finally made the first of its rulings in the patent dispute between Cisco Systems and Arista Networks. And things don't look good for Arista, which was found to be in violation of three of Cisco's patents.

This represents only the first round of the patent dispute, which Cisco filed against Arista in December 2014. Since the initial filing of a complaint with the ITC and a federal lawsuit against Arista over 14 patents Cisco alleged Arista infringed upon, the two companies have been battling it out in court and in the media.

According to Cisco, Arista boosted its patented networking code, including elements of a command line interface. Arista has maintained all along that the technology is commonly in use by networking vendors and that Cisco is simply patent controlling.

At least in this first ruling, though, the ITC judge found Cisco's complaints held merit – at least with three of its patents. In a blog post, Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel for Cisco, claimed it as a big win.

"The patents in question go to the core of Arista's products. One of those found to infringe covers Cisco's proprietary SysDB. Arista's CEO has previously referred to SysDB as Arista's 'secret sauce' and more recently, the architecture on which NetDB is built. None of the patents have been proposed for or adopted as industry standards. And all patents we asserted against Arista were invented either by Cisco employees who became Arista executives, or by engineers who worked for Arista executives when employed at Cisco," Chandler wrote.

As noted previously by FierceEnterpriseCommunications, Arista has been supposedly constructing workarounds to take the code out should a judge rule against it. At least for these three patents, Arista may need those workarounds relatively soon.

The ITC judge will post details regarding the decision within the next 30 days.

For more:
- read the Cisco blog
- read the ITC ruling

Related Articles:
First Cisco/Arista patent dispute judgment coming Wednesday
Spotlight: Arista ups the ante against Cisco with a lawsuit of its own

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