Cisco Systems sues Arista over patent infringement

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Cisco Systems sues Arista over patent infringement

Claims rival copied its products.

Network equipment maker Cisco Systems has filed two lawsuits against Arista Networks accusing the smaller rival of copying its networking technologies.

The lawsuits, filed in a federal court in California, accuse Arista of infringing on 14 patents on networks and also on related copyrights, Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler said in a blog post.

Shares of Arista were down 6.9 percent at US$68.48 in Friday afternoon trading, while Cisco fell 0.9 percent to US$27.51.

Arista was formed by former Cisco employees, including chief development officer Andreas Bechtolsheim, chief technology officer Kenneth Duda, and chief executive officer Jayshree Ullal.

"Rather than building its products and services based on new technologies developed by Arista .. and providing legitimate competition to Cisco, Arista took a shortcut by blatantly and extensively copying the innovative networking technologies designed and developed by Cisco," one of the complaints said.

Cisco is a leader in the networking world, with revenue of US$12.2 billion in the third quarter. Arista, in contrast, reported sales of US$155.5 million for the period, although it is growing fast.

Arista said it had not yet been able to evaluate the lawsuits.

"While we have respect for Cisco as a fierce competitor and the dominant player in the market, we are disappointed that they have to resort to litigation rather than simply compete with us in products," Arista said in an emailed statement.

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