Arista has disclosed that its flagship products manufactured overseas have been banned from the United States by the International Trade Commission. The ban comes a little over two months after a ruling by the International Trade Commission which found that two patents owned by Cisco had been infringed on by Arista. After the ruling it was announced that a ban would be slapped on Arista’s products after a review period of 60 days. The review period ended on Wednesday.
United States Patent Office
Arista has had some success though in its efforts to have the United States Patent Office overturn the patents owned by Cisco. The company is hoping the International Trade Commission will suspend the ban until after the U.S. Patent Officer has issued a final ruling.
“We are still awaiting the International Trade Commission’s decision on our motion to suspend its remedial orders, which are based on patent claims that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has found invalid,” said a spokesperson for Arista.
This means that the ban could be applicable for just a few days in the event that Arista manages to get the International Trade Commission to suspend it. Alternatively the ban could be in place until Arista is able to alter the affected products in such a way that they do not make use of the technology that is in dispute. Arista revealed that some workarounds exist such as partnering with manufacturers in the United States as this would grant it the license to sell its products.
The current patent dispute between Arista and Cisco stretches back to 2014 when Cisco alleged in a suit that its patents and copyrights had been infringed upon by Arista. In the suit Cisco sought damages amounting to $335 million. A complaint was also filed with the ITC by Cisco. The entity has the ability and authority to impose a ban on products that have infringed on patents and forbidding their importation into the United States. In December last year, Cisco lost the jury verdict in the lawsuit.
The tensions between Arista and Cisco are, however, not limited to the patent disputes. This is because Arista has extensively poached engineering talent from Cisco. The chief executive officer of Arista, Jayshree Ulla and the co-founder, Andy Bechtolsheim were both previously employed at Cisco. Additionally, the inventor of one of the disputed patents is Bechtolsheim. That Arista has been gaining market share as Cisco loses has not made matters any better.