Cisco Agrees To Stay Huawei Lawsuit, Pending Settlement

The Chinese vendor will abide by a preliminary injunction barring it from distributing routers and switching products that copy Cisco's equipment.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Signaling movement toward a settlement, networking equipment giant Cisco Systems Inc. agreed Wednesday to temporarily halt its lawsuit accusing China's Huawei Technologies Co. of copying Cisco's proprietary technology.

As part of the agreement to stay the litigation for six months, Huawei will abide by a preliminary injunction barring it from distributing routers and other switching products that copy Cisco's equipment.

"As part of the agreement, Huawei has stopped selling the products at issue in Cisco's lawsuit on a worldwide basis and will only offer for sale new modified products," said Penny Bruce, a Cisco spokeswoman.

An independent expert accepted by both companies will review Huawei's changes to make sure they do not copy Cisco's technology. Specifically, changes have been made to the command-line interface, user manual, help screens and a portion of source code in routers and switches.

Other terms of the agreement, including whether Huawei will pay Cisco any damages, are not public, said Jodi Warner, a spokeswoman for Huawei.

Huawei, founded by a former Chinese army officer, is trying to jump into the corporate router and switching market that Cisco now dominates. Earlier this year, Huawei and Marlboro, Mass.-based 3Com Corp. announced a joint venture to develop and manufacture enterprise-class networking equipment.

Cisco filed the patent and copyright-infringement lawsuit in January, claiming the Chinese company illegally copied software, documentation and other aspects from Cisco products. At least five patents were infringed, Cisco said.

Allegations range from the verbatim copying of Cisco technical manuals to programming codes, including bugs and sections that are used for testing but don't function in the final products.

Huawei, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said the controversial products were a small part of its overall U.S. business. Huawei has been expanding into overseas markets, challenging Cisco with similar products at lower prices.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas. Huawei has offices in Plano, Texas.

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