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Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Sys.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

November 9, 2018, Decided

2017-1525, 2017-1577


 [***1498]  [*793]   Prost, Chief Judge.

Arista Networks, Inc. ("Arista") petitioned for an inter partes review ("IPR") of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,340,597 ("the '597 patent"), which is owned by Cisco Systems, Inc. ("Cisco"). After instituting an IPR, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("Board") upheld some of those challenged claims as patentable but invalidated others. Both Arista and Cisco appeal various aspects of the Board's [**2]  decision. Having considered the parties' arguments, we reverse and remand as to Arista's appeal, and we affirm Cisco's cross-appeal.

Computer networks are made up of various network devices (e.g., computers, servers, routers, and switches) that are connected to each other. Within a network, devices can easily access information and services provided by other devices in the network. This convenience of access has drawbacks, however, as it increases the risk of an external attack on one or more network devices. For example, if an external attacker compromises one network device,  [*794]  the security of all connected network devices is threatened. As explained below, the patent at issue in this case relates to securing network devices from such attacks by using a logging module to communicate any configuration changes to a device.

 [***1499]  A

The '597 patent, titled "Method and Apparatus for Securing a Communications Device using a Logging Module," relates generally to ensuring network device security by using a logging module with restricted configurability to detect and communicate changes to a network device's configuration. '597 patent col. 2 ll. 35-37, 45-47, col. 3 ll. 43-49.

The '597 patent includes four independent claims. Claim [**3]  1 and dependent claim 29 are illustrative. Claim 1 states:

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908 F.3d 792 *; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31808 **; 128 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1497 ***

ARISTA NETWORKS, INC., Appellant v. CISCO SYSTEMS, INC., Cross-Appellant

Prior History:  [**1] Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. IPR2015-00978.

Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Sys., 2016 Pat. App. LEXIS 13388 (P.T.A.B., Sept. 28, 2016)Cisco Sys. v. Arista Networks, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136444 (N.D. Cal., Sept. 30, 2015)



patent, assignor, estoppel, broadcast, network, multicast, configuration, logging, module, communications, closely related, transmission, invention, specification, embodiment, monitor, parties, inter partes, challenging, assigned, contends, message, cross-appeal, equitable, subsystem, terms, reasonable likelihood, threshold, construe, grounds

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