RealTime IT News

Cisco Hits Back With Court Action

In response to a patent infringement suit it dismissed as a marketing tactic last week, Cisco Systems, Inc. filed a counter lawsuit against Lucent Technologies today.

Cisco today denied liability to the lawsuit filed by Lucent and said it asserted six patents against Lucent in U.S. District Court in Delaware, and another five patent infringements in a separate lawsuit filed in California.

The patents involve ATM and LAN switching technologies.

"We view Lucent's action as a marketing tactic to slow down industry leaders," said Kevin Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Service Provider Line of Business, in a statement. "This is not a case of Cisco versus Lucent, but rather Lucent versus the industry. Lucent has sued or threatened to sue the majority of data networking players, large and small. We are concerned about the damage this action could have on the industry as a whole."

The news follows a busy few days for Cisco last week which saw the networking equipment leader announcing strong second-quarter results and a stock split set for September 15. The company also entered into an alliances with PeopleSoft Inc. and Italian Internet Service Provider ITnet S.p.A.

In related news today, Cisco signed an agreement with international service provider Vitech America, Inc. under which Vitech will source Cisco products directly. Vitech is a developer and direct marketer of Vitech personal computers, business systems integration and networking equipment, and servers in Brazil.

Also today, Cisco announced it promoted four executives to the senior vice president level. The appointments include: Kevin Kennedy, Service Provider Line of Business; Charlie Giancarlo, Global Alliances; Barbara Beck, Human Resources; and Cliff Meltzer, IOS Technology and Engineering Operations.