Federal Circuit Says Suit against Customer Is Implicit Assertion against Supplier

  • May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011-  The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s dismissal for lack of standing of a declaratory judgment action brought by Arris against British Telecommunications (BT).  Arris originally filed suit in 2009, in response to assertions by BT against Arris customers.  According to Arris’ related 2011 complaint,  BT filed suit against Arris’ customers Cox and Cable One (which Arris reportedly had no express agreement to indemnify)  in August 2010.  Arris’  February 2011 10-K reports, “Cox and Cable One have asked ARRIS (and other suppliers) to indemnify them.”  The Federal Circuit decision on May 19, 2011, reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings and found that BT’s infringement accusations against Arris customers, “carried the implied assertion that Arris was committing contributory infringement.”


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