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In this article, Partner Julie Ann Shepard and Associate Daixi Xu discuss the potential risks companies may face when issuing statements about pending litigation. They focus on a blog posted by the senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Cisco on the day it initiated lawsuits in Arista Networks Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc.
“During the course of the litigation, the Cisco officer continued to upload posts to his blogs discussing the parties’ dispute,” the authors said. “In one instance, a Cisco salesperson sent a link of the blogs to a potential customer and shortly thereafter secured a sale.” Arista then sued Cisco, alleging that Cisco violated antitrust and unfair competition laws, which Cisco moved for summary judgement on the basis that its statements are protected under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine.