Cisco sued Huawei in January 2003 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The routing giant accused the Chinese company (and its Texas-based subsidiary, FutureWei), of copying its IOS software and source code, copying documentation, and infringing on several of its patents.
But as the lawsuit wore on, it appeared the whole problem stemmed from some rogue developers at Huawei, not a company-wide mandate to rip off Cisco's intellectual property.
Cisco came out great guns when the case first started, issuing a strongly worded press release and winning its initial injunction against Huawei. But as the facts came out, Cisco softened its tone -- and, notably, the company didn't make a peep when the most recent stay in the case was issued in April.
Cisco did issue a statement on this development, however. "The completion of this lawsuit marks a victory for the protection of intellectual property rights," said Mark Chandler, VP and general counsel, Cisco Systems. "We are pleased to conclude the litigation as a result of the steps that were taken to address our concerns."
The steps taken, according to Cisco, include some changes Huawei made to its command line interface, user manuals, help screens, and portions of its source code to make them less like Cisco's. After a third party reviewed Huawei's products and Huawei discontinued the sale of products at issue in the suit, the lawsuit went away.
Interestingly, Huawei partner 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) points out that this case was dismissed "with prejudice," meaning that Cisco can't bring another lawsuit against Huawei asserting the same or substantially similar claims. 3Com was not a party to the original lawsuit, but the company intervened in the case because of its joint venture with Huawei.
"3Com is extremely pleased that the litigation between Cisco and Huawei is now ended, and looks forward to continue competing on the merits of the products from its joint venture with Huawei," according to a company statement.
Light Reading's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Cisco-Huawei suit, is listed below:
- Cisco/Huawei Brawl Begins
- Cisco Wins Round 1 Against Huawei
- Huawei Admits Copying
- Huawei: Cisco Code Is Gone
- Cisco Wins Huawei Injunction
- 3Com Pings Court on Huawei Deal
- Cisco/Huawei Lawsuit on Hold
- Cisco & Huawei Extend Stay
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading