Cisco wins injunction against Chinese router firm

A US judge has temporarily blocked Chinese router company Huawei Technologies and two related companies from distributing...

A US judge has temporarily blocked Chinese router company Huawei Technologies and two related companies from distributing software and user manuals related to Cisco Systems software or having employees familiar with that software develop similar products.

Cisco sued Huawei, Huawei America and FutureWei in January, charging that the companies had copied and misappropriated Cisco software, copied copyright Cisco manuals and infringed Cisco patents.

Huawei competes with Cisco in the worldwide market for enterprise and service-provider routers and is a recent entrant to the US market.

The preliminary injunction defines what Huawei cannot do while Cisco's complaints are being weighed.

The injunction keeps Huawei from doing three things:

  • selling or using worldwide any operating system which contains or is derived from Cisco's Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) source code;
  • using any employee who recently worked with EIGRP in the development of comparable functionality in Huawei's Versatile Route Platform software;
  • distributing in the US manuals or online help files that copy, or are substantially similar to, copyrighted Cisco manuals or help files.

Both sides welcomed the injunction.

The disputed products have already been withdrawn from sale in the US, according to Fu Jin, Huawei's director of corporate communications.

In China and Japan, sales of Huawei's enterprise router products are handled by its joint venture with 3Com.

Routers with the latest version of Huawei's operating software, which replaces the disputed version, are already available through the joint venture.

"Our launch plan for the new version of this product will not be influenced by this because there is no EIGRP in the new version," Fu said.

Stephen Lawson and Peter Sayer write for IDG News Service

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