Arista Fires Back at Cisco Over Patent Lawsuit

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-12-11 Print this article Print
tech business

In the blog post announcing EOS+, Ullal talked about market "pioneers" and "protectors." While not mentioning Cisco by name, the CEO was clear in her target.

"Protectors defend old habits and remain strongly entrenched in following legacy technology trends," Ullal wrote. "They try to enforce new buzzwords and dictate markets in ways that maintain their dominant position with customers. They are often in denial of new technologies and market disruptions until it's too late. They deploy inappropriate tactics that serve to distract customers and partners from making the investments that will lead to competitive advantage."

Arista is among the pioneers, which "create and make technology and markets happen. They are not afraid to replace an older technology with a newer one."

During a talk at the Barclays Global Tech Conference Dec. 9, Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco, disputed the image of the company as an inhibitor to progress, noting that this is only the second time in 11 years that Cisco has sued another vendor over patent infringement.

"So if anybody wants to portray us as a company that uses our size and tries to slow things down—and slows down innovation—by suing people, it's absolutely false," Lloyd said, according to a transcript on Seeking Alpha. "That's complete garbage, okay? What the facts are is that we saw a competitor increasingly referring in the marketplace in the last couple of quarters to the fact that they didn't have to compete with us in a normal way."

He also said Cisco is continuing to gain market share in the network switch market, pointing to its 77.9 percent share of the 40 Gigabit Ethernet modular switch space in the most recent quarter, a 33 percent jump from the same period last year.

"So that's not losing in the market and slowing a competitor over a lawsuit," Lloyd said. "That's winning in the market and trying to protect our intellectual property."

The legal dispute is impacting Arista, which went public earlier this year. The company's stock price fell about 15 percent soon after Cisco filed the lawsuits, according to reports.



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