Cisco Files Patent Suit Against Huawei

Cisco Systems Thursday filed a patent infringement lawsuit claiming China’s largest telecommunications equipment maker illegally copied parts of its switches and routers.

Filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the lawsuit centers on Huawei Technologies, Co., LTD and its subsidiaries, Huawei America, Inc. and FutureWei Technologies, Inc.

Cisco says Huawei’s Quidway product line infringes on Cisco’s IOS software, including source code, copied Cisco documentation and other copyrighted materials, and numerous Cisco patents. The San Jose, Calif.-based computer-networking equipment maker is seeking monetary damages as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction against Huawei’s products.

The company also served a cease and desist letter on Spot Distribution, a Huawei distributor located in the United Kingdom, for distributing Huawei products.

“Cisco does not take any legal action lightly. However, Huawei has unlawfully copied Cisco’s intellectual property and refused Cisco’s numerous attempts to resolve these issues. As a result, Cisco has no choice but to protect its technology and the interests of its shareholders through legal action,” Cisco VP and general counsel Mark Chandler issued in a statement.

Company representatives with Huawei were not immediately available for comment.

Specifically, Cisco is claiming Huawei has copied portions of the Cisco IOS source code and included the technology in its operating system for its Quidway routers and switches. Cisco says Huawei’s operating system contains a number of text strings, file names, and bugs that are identical to those found in Cisco’s IOS source code.

Cisco also says Huawei copied Cisco’s Command Line Interface (CLI) and corresponding screen displays. The company says Cisco’s CLI and help screens appear verbatim in Huawei’s operating system for its Quidway routers and switches.

Huawei is also being accused of infringing at least five Cisco patents related to proprietary routing protocols.

As part of its overall strategy Huawei primarily serves such Asian carriers as China Telecom, China Unicom, and SingTel. Currently, Huawei has product joint ventures with manufacturers in Russia and Japan and a distribution deal with IBM . Last year, Huawei established a new R&D center in Bangalore.

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