Protecting Innovation: Update on Status of Arista Litigation
In our last posting, we referenced Arista’s effort to consolidate the two International Trade Commission cases we had filed. Arista acknowledged that their move would have the effect of delaying the resolution of the cases for up to six months. With that effort rejected by the Commission, today Arista moved to formally delay the target date for completion of the case by six months. These cases involve the pervasive copying of Cisco’s intellectual property (see my original blog on the ITC case here). We want to be clear: these cases should progress quickly and we will oppose any delay. We expect the ITC to rule soon on that motion, and hope they will reject delay.
These cases in the ITC are separate from the two District Court cases which we filed on December 5, one of which was stayed by mutual agreement earlier today pending the outcome of the ITC cases. Earlier today, a Bloomberg News article reported that, “Arista Networks Wins Ruling Putting Cisco Patent Case on Hold”, which Barron’s “Tech Trader Daily” picked up as “Favorable Ruling Against Cisco, Case on Hold, Says Bloomberg.” The Bloomberg article correctly reported that the “case is delayed until U.S. International Trade Commission completes its investigations.” Both outlets have since clarified the reporting (see: Cisco Says Bloomberg Story in Error, Arista Stay of Hearing is Procedural Detail).
What the initial article didn’t mention was that the stay was pre-agreed by both Cisco and Arista. This was effectively automatic after the ITC cases against Arista were filed on December 21. As a matter of law, a stay of District Court litigation is allowed to avoid duplicative proceedings when an ITC action is also pending, an approach we strongly favor to help reduce court costs. In fact, our February 4 ITC filing we publicly stated that the “District Court action will be stayed without opposition from Cisco”.
These are complicated proceedings and those without a legal background may have trouble following all the procedural and major rulings. Some of today’s confusion about the District Court stay might have been avoided if we’d drawn more attention to our non-opposition filing, which is why we are committed to updating interested parties on this case, as needed. I’ll continue to blog updates on this important case, and you can follow me for updates at @ChandlerCisco.