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ITC Judge Rules in Favor of Cisco Against Arista

The International Trade Commission has partially ruled for Cisco against Arista in one of two related complaints before the federal agency.

In a "Final Initial Determination" (FID) issued Tuesday by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) , the agency found that Arista Networks Inc. has violated several Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) patents related to network devices and software, although not all the patents named in the original complaint were ruled to be in violation. (See Cisco Slams Arista With Massive Patent & Copyright Suit.)

"This notice marks the beginning of the end for Arista’s systemic copying of our intellectual property," writes Cisco's General Counsel Mark Chandler in a blog on the initial ruling. The ITC will make public the full details of Judge Shaw's ruling within 30 days.

The Cisco counsel suggests that Arista now has four options following the ruling: withdraw the products, modify them, face an exclusion order on some products or try to evade it.

"Despite its accusations of 'stealing,' not one single line of Arista software comes from Cisco," Ken Duda, Arista CTO, founder and senior VP of software, writes in reply to the ruling. "All of our code is either written by us or properly licensed from third parties."

Duda goes on to accuse Cisco of operating in bad faith. "It is astonishing how far they are willing to go to protect their market position," he concludes.

Arista notes in a legal schedule blog that there are 60 days for review before the ITC issues its final judgement. Any ITC remedial ruling is then sent to the President, who may "disapprove them for policy reasons," the ITC notes.

"Such disapprovals are rare," the agency states.

Arista could initially petition the ITC about the FID decision. It could also appeal any final ITC ruling against it separately in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Arista hasn't said what further actions it might take yet.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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