Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cisco Hits Arista with Multiple Patent Lawsuit

Cisco filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Arista Networks, claiming that a dozen key switching features covered by 14 different U.S. patents held by Cisco were copied.


In a blog post, Mark Chandler, General Counsel at Cisco, writes that none of these features are incorporated in industry standards andy were patented by individuals who worked for Cisco and are now at Arista, or who at Cisco worked with executives who are now at Arista. Specifically, Cisco's complaint cites the following technologies that are incorporated by Arista in their entirety into Arista’s products.

  • System Database (“SysDB”) (Arista uses Cisco’s networking device implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,162,537)
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning (“ZTP”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,290,164)
  • On Board Failure Logging (“OBFL”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No.7,340,597)
  • Control Plane Policing (“CoPP”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,224,668)
  • Spanning Tree Loop Guard(Arista uses Cisco’s implementations covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 7,460,492 & 7,061,875 )
  • In-Service System Upgrades (“ISSU”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation described by Cisco Patent No. 8,356,296)
  • Virtual Port Channels (“vPC”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No 8,051,211)
  • Access Control ListsImprovements (“ACL”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 7,023,853 & 6,377,577)
  • Private Virtual Local Area Networks (“Private VLANs”) (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent Nos. 6,741,592 & 7,200,145)
  • Generic Command Interface (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,047,526)
  • CLI Command Data Translation (Arista uses Cisco’s implementation covered by Cisco Patent No. 7,953,886)
Furthermore, Chandler argues that "Arista promotes the theft of Cisco’s intellectual property as a key differentiator for Arista versus other Cisco competitors."

Mark Chandler's blog post is here:
http://blogs.cisco.com/news/protecting-innovation

A copy of the complaint is posted here:
http://www.slideshare.net/Cisco/cisco-patent-complaint-against-arista

Arista has not yet officially responded to the complaint but Jayshree Ullal, Arista’s chief executive, was quoted in the press expressing her disappointment in her former employer.

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