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Cisco slaps Arista Networks with patent infringement suit

Jim Duffy | Dec. 8, 2014
Cisco today filed two lawsuits against data center switch competitor Arista Networks for allegedly violating its intellectual property.

For the alleged patent infringement, Cisco is seeking an injunction and damages from lost profits "in an amount not less than reasonable royalty," according to the suit. Cisco is also seeking damages "in an amount not less than three times" the damages assessed for Arista's patent infringement.

For the alleged CLI copyright infringement, Cisco is seeking an injunction, lost profit damages, statutory damages, and reimbursement of legal fees, expenses and costs.

The case will be heard in the United States District Court in the Northern District Court of California.

Cisco complaints come as Arista is entangled in another suit with cofounder David Cheriton and his company, OptumSoft, over a compiler used in EOS that Arista licensed royalty-free from OptumSoft. OptumSoft is claiming ownership of "improvements, corrections or modifications to" the compiler, as well as any "derivative works thereof, made by or for" Arista involving it, such as EOS.

Arista is countersuing, and recently replaced its legal representation in the OptumSoft case.

Cisco's suits come two days after expiration of the 180-day lockup period on Arista, the time in which company insiders are prohibited from selling shares immediately following an IPO. If insiders, which own roughly 53 million shares, flood the market with Arista stock it may cause a significant decrease in its value, according to this post by DRD Investments.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Arista posted revenue of $155.5 million, an increase of 53% compared to the third quarter of 2013, and an increase of 12.7% from the second quarter of 2014. For the fourth quarter, the company expects revenue between $160 million and $168 million.

Arista's market cap is $4.73 billion.


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