Read Arista’s CEO customer letter on Cisco patent infringement verdict

Arista’s CEO Jayshree Ullal looks at repercussions, work-arounds, commitment

Arista’s President & CEO Jayshree Ullal issued a letter to customers who may have been worried over the impact of last week’s US International Trade Commission ruling that the company had infringed on three Cisco patents.

The ITC on June 23rd issued a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order that will forbid Arista from importing products (with these specific infringed features) into the U.S., Ullal wrote.

“We recently released a new version of EOS (4.16.6M) that we believe addresses the ITC’s infringement findings in this case. This new version of EOS is now available for download and will be shipped as the default image on all of new products in the near future. Consistent with the standard practice in the ITC, we plan to request regulatory approvals of our new software to clarify that our products fully comply with the ITC’s orders,” Ullal wrote

+More on Network World: Arista infringes on Cisco networking patents, trade agency says+

What follows is a good portion of Ullal’s note. Go here you want to read the entire letter.

Facts: The ITC’s Final Determination and Orders

Last week, the ITC issued its Final Determination in the ITC Investigation No. 337-TA-944 brought against us by Cisco Systems. In this decision, the ITC concluded that Arista did not infringe two of the five patents under investigation. However, they did find that we infringed three patents that cover two features –Private VLANs (which is rarely used by our customers) and a particular implementation detail regarding how EOS agents communicate with our SYSDB in the third feature.

As a reminder, Cisco has previously dropped one patent before trial, which means that out of five total features claimed only two out of the five have been found to infringe. As a result of this decision, the ITC has issued a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order that will prohibit Arista from importing products (with these specific infringed features)into the U.S. or selling imported products in the U.S. that infringe these patents.

These restrictions will go into effect at the end of a presidential review period on August 22nd 2016. We respectfully disagree with the ITC that we infringe these patents or that they are valid.

Nevertheless, we respect the ITC’s decision, and we intend to fully comply with these remedial orders.

Our pledge: Arista’s Compliance with the Law

As our valued customer, we feel it is important to explain how we intend to comply with the orders and the repercussions. Over the past year, our team of incredibly talented engineers has been working on plans to manage through this potential outcome.

We recently released a new version of EOS (4.16.6M) that we believe addresses the ITC’s infringement findings in this case.

This new version of EOS is now available for download and will be

Shipped as the default image on all of new products in the near future.

Consistent with the standard practice in the ITC, we plan to request regulatory approvals of our new software to clarify that our products fully comply with the ITC’s orders.

We are also establishing US manufacturing capabilities for additional operational flexibility.

It is paramount to note that we intend to fully adhere to all ITC legal

requirements and all products that are manufactured here in the United States will contain design-around versions of EOS.

All international customers are unaffected by ITC orders.

Our primary focus is the continued supply and service of non-infringing

products to our customers.

Arista Ahead

Our purpose is steadfast and unwavering.

We believe that entrenched habits and defensive approaches of legacy players must change. Arista is committed to this new breed of cloud-class, cloud scale and cloud-converged platforms with state-driven programmability, high availability and scalability. Together we are powering some of the world’s best and largest cloud networks with foundational quality and support.

The drumbeat for both agile innovation and accountability for risk and operational cost reduction is an unquestionable mandate.

With several thousand man-years of investments and 10+ million lines of software over the past decade, the Arista journey has only

just begun.

 

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