3Com, Huawei Deal Clears Regulatory Hurdles

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3Com has cleared another milestone in the formation of its joint venture with Huawei Technologies.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com Tuesday said it has received export license approvals from both the U.S. and U.K. governments. The approvals allow 3Com to license and share its technologies developed in the United States and the U.K. with Huawei in China.

The joint venture's final regulatory hurdle is Chinese government approval, which 3Com expects by fall, the company said.

3Com in March said it would team with Huawei to produce the high-end networking gear it needs to move into the large enterprise market, despite the fact that the Chinese networking vendor is embroiled in a patent and copyright-infringement lawsuit with Cisco Systems.

While the joint venture awaits approval, 3Com and Huawei are moving ahead. The first product from the partnership, 3Com' s Switch 7700--a Layer 3 modular LAN switch for campus core applications--is slated to ship by the end of this month.

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court granted 3Com's request to be heard in the lawsuit between Cisco and Huawei. In June, 3Com asked the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, Texas, to declare that the products it sources from Huawei and later sells through the planned joint venture do not infringe on Cisco's intellectual property. At that time, Huawei also asked the court to declare that its new products do not infringe upon Cisco's intellectual property.

3Com said the intervention demonstrates its confidence that the new products it plans to ship are substantially different from those entangled in the dispute between Cisco and Huawei.

The court on June 6 issued a preliminary injunction that bars Huawei from selling products that use Cisco documentation, online help files and source code. Huawei said it already has pulled the products in question from U.S. markets.

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