Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by Leonard Bosack, who was in charge of the Stanford University computer science department’s computers, and his wife Sandy Lerner, who managed the Graduate School of Business’ computers.
Despite founding Cisco in 1984, Bosack, along with Kirk Lougheed, continued to work at Stanford on Cisco’s first product. It consisted of exact replicas of Stanford’s “Blue Box” router and a stolen copy of the University’s multiple-protocol router software. The software was originally written some years earlier at Stanford medical school by research engineer William Yeager. Bosack and Lougheed adapted it into what became the foundation for Cisco IOS. On July 11, 1986, Bosack and Lougheed were forced to resign from Stanford and the university contemplated filing criminal complaints against Cisco and its founders for the theft of its software, hardware designs and other intellectual properties. In 1987, Stanford licensed the router software and two computer boards to Cisco.