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Cisco settles SMARTnet suit

Third party maintenance company drops claims that Cisco forced SMARTnet purchase for bux fixes

Cisco and Multiven, a network maintenance company, have settled their 2008 lawsuit. Multiven charged that Cisco forced customers to buy its SMARTnet service plan in order to get bug fixes and software updates, according to this report from IDG New Service's Steve Lawson.

Cisco is not obligated to pay anything to Multiven under terms of the settlement. Cisco countersued Multiven but both parties agreed to drop their claims.

Multiven provides technical support, maintenance and consulting services for networks from multiple vendors. The company sued Cisco in December 2008, charging that it did not make necessary software updates and bug fixes for its products available to third parties. The suit alleged that Cisco instead made those updates available only to its SMARTnet customers and prevented third parties like Multiven from servicing Cisco equipment, Lawson reports.

Cisco responded to the suit by saying its customers were not required to buy Cisco's services and that thousands of partner companies offered service programs, including bug fixes, for Cisco gear. In an e-mailed statement on this week's settlement, Cisco said:

‪We are gratified that the court found in Cisco’s favor regarding Multiven’s unauthorized access to Cisco’s computer network, and that Multiven dropped all of its claims against Cisco without Cisco paying any money to Multiven.‬

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