Ciena Corporation Asks for Restraining Order in Counterfeit Transceiver Case

Co-plaintiff Ciena Corporation filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order on July 22, joining Cisco Systems Inc. and Cisco Technology Inc. in their plea to end alleged counterfeiting by China’s Wuhan Wolon Cloud Network Communication Technology Co. Ltd. and Wuhan Wolon Communication Technology Co. Ltd. The products at issue, Ciena and Cisco’s transceivers, are devices that transmit and receive data and are used in public and private networks.

As reported last month, Cisco filed suit against Wuhan Wolon after finding out that the company was selling transceivers falsely branded with Cisco’s logo. Subsequently, the court granted Cisco’s motion for a temporary restraining order and, on July 2, a preliminary injunction pending resolution of the proceedings. In its July 2 order, the court noted that though Wuhan Wolon had been notified of the hearing, no counsel appeared.

In last week’s motion, Ciena, a self-described leading designer and manufacturer of transceivers, first noted that the factual and legal allegations underlying its emergency motions are substantially similar to those filed by Cisco. Its complaint also sought to bar the counterfeit products by bringing various trademark infringement claims under the federal Lanham Act and unfair competition and false advertising claims under California law.

In seeking immediate injunctive relief, Ciena argued that counterfeit products sold by Wuhan Wolon “pose a serious risk of potential harm to that national infrastructure and Ciena’s reputation.” The plaintiff also stressed that its customers include federal and state government bodies, telecommunications companies, utilities, healthcare providers and more. Its transceivers, the motion alleged, are “a key foundational component of the U.S. communications infrastructure.”

Without the requested relief, Ciena cautioned that the defendants’ substandard counterfeit products are likely to fail, jeopardizing networks and the people they serve. Their usage also allegedly creates a risk of physical harm, the complaints noted, for technicians who visually appraise them and for sensitive networks like those serving healthcare institutions that rely on total system functionality.

Ciena, like Cisco, is represented by Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller PC.