Cisco Sues Huawei In Patent, Copyright Dispute

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Cisco Systems on Thursday sued one of China's largest makers of telecommunications equipment for allegedly copying proprietary aspects of Cisco routers and switches without permission.

The lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court in Mashall, Texas, claims Huawei Technologies and two U.S.-based subsidiaries copied Cisco's operating system source code, technical documentation and an interface. Cisco also claims at least five patents were infringed.

"Cisco does not take any legal action lightly,' said Mark Chandler, Cisco's general counsel. "However, Huawei has unlawfully copied Cisco's intellectual property and refused Cisco's numerous attempts to resolve these issues.'

Phone messages left at Huawei's U.S. offices in Plano, Texas, were not immediately returned. A security guard who answered the phone after hours at Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, said no one was available to comment.

The infringement, according to the lawsuit, ranged from the verbatim copying of Cisco technical documentation to programming code, including sections that were used by Cisco for testing but are nonfunctional in the final products.

Cisco wants the court to bar Huawei from using, selling, marketing or distributing Quidway routers and switches that infringe on Cisco's copyrights and patents. The San Jose-based company also is seeking unspecified damages.

Chandler also said Cisco has held discussions with Chinese officials about the claims. "We believe the Chinese government is as concerned as we are,' he said. "We found them to be very respectful.'

Meanwhile, shares of Cisco rose 22 cents to $14.18 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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