Cisco has slammed its networking rival Arista's counter-lawsuit against it, claiming the case is "bogus" and a "smokescreen" for Cisco's ongoing patent claim.
In 2014 Cisco filed two lawsuits against Arista for alleged patent infringement and alleged copyright infringement. The cases are ongoing but according to the Cisco blog, it expects the International Trade Commission (ITC) to decide on five alleged patent infringements later this week.
Now Arista has launched a counter-lawsuit against Cisco, which claims that legal action against it is an attempt to damage a company that is challenging Cisco's market dominance.
"This litigation [Cisco's patent claim] is not about protecting copyrightable expression in commonly used CLI (command-line interface) commands," the counterclaim says. "There is no such protectable expression, and if there were, Cisco would have raised an objection long ago – either to Arista or to the other companies who also use those commands.
"Rather, this litigation is an effort to debilitate a company that is disrupting Cisco's long-standing dominant position in this market with better technology. Instead of competing with Arista in the market, Cisco hopes to damage it with costly, but baseless, litigation."
Cisco has hit out at Arista's legal action. Its general counsel Mark Chandler called it "bogus" and an attempt by Arista to distract people from the ITC's imminent ruling and also as a "pretext to muddy a District Court trial scheduled for November".
"Let me be clear. We welcome the opportunity to show that Cisco's business practices are consistent with a highly competitive and vibrant industry," Chandler said in a blog. "We seek only fair competition, but will take action against those who misappropriate our technology and use it to compete against us.
"The extent of Arista's copying of our CLI sets them apart from others in the industry. They have directly lifted more than 500 multi-word command line expressions. By comparison, networking products from HP, Brocade, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks and Extreme each have only a small fraction of overlapping commands.
"Our goal has always been to protect Cisco's innovation, and stop Arista from using our patented and copyrighted technology. Arista's behaviour has negative consequences for the industry and for their customers and partners who were sold products using stolen technology. They can no longer delay the inevitable."
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