Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc.

  • Nov 9 2018
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

Arista Networks, Inc. petitioned for an inter partes review (“IPR”) of certain claims of Cisco Systems, Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 7,340,597 relating to ensuring network device security by using a logging module with restricted configurability to detect and communicate changes to a network device’s configuration. After instituting an IPR, the PTAB upheld some of those challenged claims as patentable but invalidated others. Arista appeals, contending that the Board erred in construing the term “broadcast,” and that this error caused the Board to improperly reject Arista’s obviousness challenge.  Cisco’s cross-appeal argues that the Board’s decision to invalidate some claims should be reversed based on assignor estoppel, requiring the CAFC to address the reviewability of the Board’s refusal to apply the doctrine of assignor estoppel and, if reviewable, whether the Board should have analyzed the merits of Cisco’s arguments regarding assignor estoppel. various aspects ofthe Board’s decision. The CAFC reverses and remands as to Arista’s appeal, andaffirms the Board’s holding that assignor estoppel does not bar Arista from challenging the validity of the ’597 patent in this IPR, concluding that § 311(a), by allowing “a person who is not the owner of a patent” to file an IPR, unambiguously dictates that assignor estoppel has no place in IPR proceedings.

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