Cicso Systems vs Huawei Technologies

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Cicso Systems vs Huawei Technologies

I. Cisco Systems files lawsuit against Huawei Technologies

Cisco Systems filed a lawsuit against Huawei Technologies on January 23, 2003 claiming that Huawei had copied, misappropriated, and infringed on Cisco’s intellectual property in its rival line of low-cost networking routers.1 Cisco Systems is an industry leader in providing networking equipment for voice and data transfer. Huawei Technologies is China’s leading manufacturer of telecom and network equipment gear and is viewed by analysts as a formidable competitor to Cisco2.

II. Details of the lawsuit

Cisco’s allegations include the following:3

. Copying of IOS source code: IOS (Internetworking Operating System) is Cisco’s

proprietary operating system. Cisco claims that Huawei’s operating system contains

text strings, file names, and even bugs that are identical to those in Cisco’s IOS

source code.

. Copying of Cisco’s technical documentation: Cisco alleges that whole portions of

text from Cisco’s copyrighted technical documentation are found in Huawei’s user

manuals for their Quidway routers and switches.

. Copying of Command Line Interface: A Command Line Interface (CLI) is the interface

through which a user issues commands to a router. Cisco claims that extensive

portions of its CLI and help screens appear verbatim in Huawei’s operating system

for its Quidway routers and switches.

. Patent infringement: Cisco alleges that Huawei is infringing at least five Cisco

patents related to proprietary routing protocols.

Cisco wants a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the use, sales, marketing, and distribution of Huawei’s Quidway routers and switches. The suit includes an order to triple all damages, an amount to be determined by a jury during a trial.4 Cisco also took action against a Huawei distributor in the United Kingdom. Spot Distribution received a cease and desist letter for distributing Huawei products that allegedly infringe Cisco’s intellectual property.5

Cisco filed the case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas,6 nearby Plano, Texas, where it has a subsidiary. The court is reputed to be knowledgeable about patent and intellectual property infringement cases, sympathetic to patent holders, and quick to issue injunctions.

While patents granted in the United States are only enforceable in the United States, copyright laws are enforced worldwide.
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