Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > The Platform

Protecting Innovation: Update on District Court and ITC Actions

Our legal action to stop Arista’s copying and use of Cisco’s intellectual property is proceeding according to schedule. With a number of important procedural steps about to take place, we feel now is a good time to provide an update.

Last December we brought two actions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. All of the related patents cover features that were invented by individuals who worked for Cisco and who are now at Arista, or by individuals at Cisco who worked with executives who are now at Arista.

District Court: Networking Features Case

  • This case will be overseen by Judge White in Oakland, and relates to Arista’s copying and infringement of key features covered by 12 Cisco patents.
  • Because the case addresses many areas being covered in the International Trade Commission (ITC), it has been “stayed” or put on hold pending resolution in the ITC. Cisco anticipated and consented to the stay requested by Arista to ensure efforts are not duplicated.
  • Much of the discovery completed as part of the ITC action will be directly applicable when this case proceeds to trial.

District Court: Operating System and Interface Features Case

  • This case will be overseen by Judge Freeman in San Jose, and relates to Arista’s use of Cisco’s proprietary and unique interface for which Cisco owns copyrights and two patents.
  • The trial is scheduled to begin on August 1, 2016.
  • After Cisco brought this action, Arista introduced its EOS+ product, which they claim added new features and functionality related to the interface. Because Arista knew of our action and EOS+ adds new ways to use Cisco technology, we amended our filing to demand extra penalties for “willfulness.”
  • Judge Freeman recently asked Cisco to further amend our complaint to make clearer that EOS+ was a new product. We submitted a second amended complaint as Judge Freeman requested and Arista did not move to dismiss its revised allegations about EOS+. Despite recent reports describing this as a setback for Cisco, all of our claims, including willfulness, will be heard by the Court as we proceed to trial.

In order to expedite resolution of these matters, Cisco requested that the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. commence two investigations into Arista’s infringement in importing products into the United States. The ITC typically resolves patent cases more quickly than the district courts, and has the power to block the importation of products that infringe US intellectual property. This will allow us to stop Arista from importing products based on copied technology, which are today manufactured abroad, into the US.

ITC Investigation: ‘944 Case

  • Key Dates:
    • September 9, 2015 – Hearing begins this week.
    • January 17, 2016 – Final Initial Determination, subject to review by the full ITC. May include an “exclusion order” if infringement is found.
    • May 27, 2016 – Target date for completion of investigation and issuance of final determination, subject to a 60-day Presidential Review if infringement is found.
  • This investigation is being held before Administrative Law Judge Shaw, who has standing rules to streamline cases by limiting the number of asserted patents and claims. To comply with these routine procedures, Cisco plans to reduce the number of patents pursued in this investigation.
  • The decision to drop one or more patents covering overlapping technologies will be made with the benefit of discovery, knowing that they can and will be pursued in the District Court networking features case.

ITC Investigation: ‘945 Case

  • Key Dates:
    • November 9, 2015 – Hearing begins this week.
    • April 26, 2016 – Final Initial Determination, subject to review by the full ITC. May include an “exclusion order” if infringement is found.
    • August 26, 2016 – Target date for completion of investigation and issuance of final determination, subject to a 60-day Presidential Review if infringement is found.
  • This investigation was originally assigned to Administrative Law Judge Pender, who held a claim construction hearing in June to determine the definition of 17 terms (out of hundreds in the patents) to be used at hearing.
  • We now look forward to having our claims heard before Administrative Law Judge McNamara.

We will continue to provide updates on any significant developments.

Tags: , , , ,

IT Competitions Unleash Critical Thinking and Hone Job Skills

One year from now more than 10,500 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees will put their skills and perseverance to the test at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next year’s medal winners may go on to become professional athletes, role models, and commercial spokespeople – for many, the visibility and success they achieve in front of an international audience launches their careers.

Most of us are familiar with the world’s largest international multi-sport event. But it might surprise you to learn that next week a different kind of global competition will take place in Brazil. Instead of tennis, swimming, or gymnastics, next week’s participants will show off their abilities in 50 professional fields – ranging from carpentry and cooking to robotics and web design.

Held every two years, the WorldSkills competition inspires and prepares today’s young people to become the skilled professionals of tomorrow. Participants also gain hands-on experience that helps them stand out with employers.

The Internet of Everything economy will create many opportunities for creative, tech-savvy people everywhere. As a WorldSkills Global Partner, Cisco provides networking infrastructure and sponsors an entire segment of the competition – IT Network Systems Administration, or Skill #39.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why the Fortune 500 is Fast Becoming the Digital 500

As part of its research for this year’s annual Fortune™ 500 issue the magazine polled the CEOs of all the companies on its latest list of industry leaders. When asked, “What is your company’s greatest challenge?” the number one answer among the CEOs was, “The rapid pace of technological change.” Holding second position on their list of challenges was cybersecurity. The magazine remarked on the results, “Today’s CEOs clearly recognize that new technologies are going to radically change the way they do business. And they know that they need to figure it out before their competitors do.”

A major contributor to this change is the emergence of the Internet of Everything. Billions of devices, machines and equipment are being connected to the Internet at astronomical rates. These hyper-distributed things are creating unprecedented demands for data understanding and new business processes from every player in every industry value chain. The result will be a massively connected and integrated digital community that creates new services and experiences for each participant. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco’s Liz Centoni Recognized as CloudNOW “Top 10 Women in Cloud”

For 30 years, our technology has changed the way the world works, lives, plays and learns.   And though we are a technology innovator, our edge does not come solely from technology. It comes from our people.

Today is a proud day for the Cisco family.

I am very pleased to announce that CloudNOW, the executive consortium for the leading women in cloud and converging technologies, today named Liz Centoni, Vice President, Strategy and Engineering Chief of Staff at Cisco, as one of the winners of its flagship “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Awards.

Jocelyn DeGance Graham, founder of CloudNOW, stated, “Liz Centoni is one of the key cloud thought leaders who is pioneering the industry and leveling the playing field for future generations. We acknowledge Liz’s dedication and passion for tech, and thank her for her continued contributions.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.37.14 AM

Liz is a courageous and bold leader who is both a technologist and strategic thinker. As Chief of Staff for Cisco’s Engineering EVP, she plays a key role in driving the strategy to invest $5.7B in R&D. As Vice President and General Manager of the Service Provider Access Group, she successfully created a vision and strategy beyond product features that delivers true innovation to increase customer value.

Liz creates business impact and solid revenue results while also being a diverse and inclusive leader who actively engages employees and business partners in a way that makes them feel valued and respected.

As a true role model for Cisco’s culture, Liz is an active, hands-on mentor who dedicates time to coaching and developing talent. She had the vision to start a “Women in Engineering Leadership” forum for her organization, which has now expanded to the entire Cisco engineering organization of 25,000. She is also the Cisco Global Co-Executive Sponsor for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), a national program that promotes female talent in science, technology and engineering.


The Top 10 Women in Cloud Awards will be held at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Menlo Park, where winners will compete in a pitch-style event September 24th when the “Top Woman in Cloud” will be named. Tickets for the event are available now. For more info visit:


Cisco’s Next Chapter Starts Today

Today is a new day for all of us at Cisco, and I could not be more excited for our future. Under John’s leadership over the past 20 years, we have changed the way the world works, lives, plays and learns. We’re so well positioned in the market because of the vision, strategy and culture that John built, and we are all thankful for this. As I officially step into the CEO role today, I’m honored to lead what I believe to be the best-positioned company in our industry. I’d like to share with you why I am so confident, and how we will accelerate Cisco’s leadership in the digital age.

Every customer knows that technology must be at the core of their business strategy to create and deliver unprecedented value as every person, process and thing in their organization and ecosystem connects. Each customer faces a fundamental decision: will technology simply enable, potentially differentiate, or fundamentally define their business strategy? This decision is at the heart of the digital transition that every country, city and company is undergoing, and we intend to be the most strategic partner for our customers during each stage of this transition.

In the digital world, data – and the insights from that data – will be the most strategic asset. It will be distributed across every part of our customers’ organizations and ecosystems. The ability to secure, aggregate, automate, and draw insights from the data – with speed – will ultimately define success. For fifty years, the IT industry has been bringing data to the ‘computer.’ Now, we’re bringing computing – with analytics, insights, and actions – to the data. Only Cisco, and only the network, can deliver the highly secure, distributed, and intelligent infrastructure and solutions required in today’s highly dynamic digital world.

Read More »