Arista Networks Won't Trademark 'Cloud Networking' - InformationWeek

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2/4/2009
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John Foley
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Arista Networks Won't Trademark 'Cloud Networking'

In a blog post, Arista Networks CEO Jayshree Ullal reveals that the company will drop its attempt to trademark the term "cloud networking." Like Dell before it, Arista has learned that the language of cloud computing is so general in nature that it can't be the intellectual property of one company.

In a blog post, Arista Networks CEO Jayshree Ullal reveals that the company will drop its attempt to trademark the term "cloud networking." Like Dell before it, Arista has learned that the language of cloud computing is so general in nature that it can't be the intellectual property of one company.The news came in a blog post on Ullal's first 100 days with Arista. The former Cisco executive joined Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim at the helm of Arista (formerly Arastra) last October. Ullal is Arista's president and CEO; Bechtolsheim, its chairman and chief development officer.

Arista is in the business of making advanced networking systems, which the company says are designed for cloud computing environments. As I reported in October, it applied for a trademark on cloud networking.

Now, as Ullal explains, it has reversed that decision, and with good reason. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office informed Arista that the term cloud networking may be generic. "We completely agree and prefer to focus on adoption of cloud networking rather than trademark pursuits," Ullal writes. "Quite frankly, I could never have predicted the remarkable acceptance in such a short compressed time! Such things usually take years, not days."

Arista's decision should avert any bickering over what are sure to become two frequently used words as more companies build up network infrastructures to support cloud computing initiatives. You'll recall that Dell tried to trademark the term "cloud computing," and that Patent and Trademark Office rejected that request for the same reason it gave Arista -- too generic.

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