U.S. Customs sides with Arista amid Cisco patent allegations

November 21, 2016 4:46 PM EST

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By Dan Levine

(Reuters) - U.S. customs officials ruled that Arista Networks Inc (NYSE: ANET) can import redesigned ethernet switches that had been banned by the International Trade Commission, reducing pressure on Arista as it battles allegations of intellectual property infringement made by rival Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ: CSCO).

The U.S. International Trade Commission had ruled earlier this year that Arista infringed three Cisco patents relating to managing and securing communications networks. An import ban on the Arista switches was subsequently upheld by the U.S. Trade Representative.

However, in a securities filing on Monday, Arista said it received a letter last week from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying Arista's current redesigned products "are not within the scope" of the ITC import ban.

Marc Taxay, Arista's general counsel, said in a statement that the company looked forward to resuming the importation of its redesigned products.

In a statement, Cisco said it believes Arista's redesign "is a thin veil to cover Arista's ongoing infringement."

Cisco and Arista are expected to begin trial next week in a California federal court over claims of copyright and patent infringement brought by Cisco.

(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis)



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