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Cisco Systems, Inc. v. International Trade Commission

ITC May Bar Importation of Components on Inducement Grounds

Cisco Systems, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20331 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 27, 2017) (REYNA, Schall, Wallach) (ITC) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms limited exclusion order against intervenor-appellant Arista Networks (“Arista”) based on infringement of three patents, and affirms determination of no infringement as to two other patents. The opinion discusses only two of these patents, one held infringed by the ITC, one held non-infringed.

As to the infringed patent, the ITC did not err in claim construction, and the opinion rejects Arista’s argument that the syntax of the claim required that user-supplied commands be stored in a specific database. The reference to storing in a database did not apply to the commands, but to “router configuration data” derived from those commands. The opinion also rejects Arista’s prosecution history-based argument on the same claim construction issue. The ITC’s order also had sufficient support for its finding that certain “components of Arista’s accused products induce infringement of the ’537 patent,” and so did not err in extending its exclusion order to bar importation of those components. While this meant that components such as processors, memories, CPU cards, and chassis would be excluded, the opinion notes the ITC’s broad discretion in its remedies. “Blocking imports of articles that induce patent infringement has a reasonable relationship to stopping unlawful trade acts.”

As to the non-infringed patent, the record supported the ITC’s determination that the accused products “inferred” information about a subsystem’s operation, which was different from the claim’s requirement of “detecting” such operation.

KEYWORDS: CLAIM CONSTRUCTION; INFRINGEMENT (YES); INFRINGEMENT (NO)