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December 15, 2016

US court rules against Cisco in Arista copyright infringement lawsuit

Cisco claimed nearly $335m in damages from Arista.

By CBR Staff Writer

A US federal court has ruled in favour of Arista Networks in a copyright infringement case filed against it by networking giant Cisco Systems.

The jury in the federal court in San Jose, California has ruled that Arista owes no damage compensation to Cisco.

Cisco claimed nearly $335m in damages from Arista for infringing its user interface copyrights.

According to the jurors, Arista is not liable for copyright infringement related to its use of a small number of commands similar to those found in Cisco’s Command Line Interface (CLI).

Arista senior vice president and general counsel Marc Taxay said that the “verdict represents an important victory not only for Arista but for the entire industry.”

The court also ruled that Arista did not infringe the single patent remaining in the case as well as Cisco’s asserted copyrights in its user manuals.

Cisco SVP, general counsel and secretary Mark Chandler said in a blog: “In laymen’sCisco, Arista lawsuit terms, justification by applying scènes à faire means the jury excused Arista’s copying because they believe that “external factors” dictated the selection and arrangement of some infringed features.”

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The company said that yet a third tribunal has found that Arista intentionally copied Cisco.

The findings refute Arista’s claims to have developed their products from “a clean sheet of paper”.

Chandler added: “We will look to Judge Freeman to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to warrant the conclusion reached by the jury, as well as other grounds for setting aside the trial result.”

In December 2014, Cisco filed a lawsuit against Arista, a networking switch rival founded by former Cisco staff, accused it of copying its networking technologies with a patent.

The company filed two lawsuits after claiming that Arista is using 14 Cisco patents in its own products.

It also claimed that Arista was involved in copying material from user manuals and more than 500 commands used to configure networking gear.

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