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Arista slapped with import ban after US Trade Rep lays down law

Firm lost Cisco patent lawsuit, will appeal to Supreme Court

The US Trade Representative has upheld a ban on all Arista Networks products, following a complaint of patent infringement by Cisco.

A federal commission found in June that the company's products infringed patents owned by the switchzilla.

"The International Trade Commission determined that Arista wilfully and intentionally infringed three Cisco patents covering core, Cisco-proprietary network functionality," said Mark Chandler, senior Cisco veep in a blog post.

Cisco first filed its suit against rival Arista in December 2014, accusing it of ripping off Cisco's intellectual property.

The claim included allegations of infringement on 12 Cisco patents as well as copyright infringement on its code and platforms by Arista for use in its products.

The cease and desist order came into force yesterday and blocks the marketing, sale or distribution of all inventory of imported infringing products.

It also means that Arista is unable to honour service and warranty contracts for any infringing products sold after the ITC’s ruling date (June 23, 2016). Arista’s customers must now bear that risk.

Cisco's Chandler added: "Arista has also noted in several public forums that it intends to continue selling the affected products. It does this without any ITC or CBP approval. If Arista does not change its course, Cisco will bring an enforcement action in the ITC later this week."

Arista's general counsel, Marc Taxay, told Reuters the company has redesigned the software in its switches and believes it is in "full compliance" with the ITC's orders.

"Our primary focus remains the continued supply of non-infringing products to our customers," he said.

Arista said it will appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. ®

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