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Huawei denies Cisco source code copying claim

Chinese network outfit gets offended
Mon Oct 15 2012, 13:40
Huawei's global headquarters in Shenzhen

CHINESE TELECOM EQUIPMENT MAKER Huawei has replied to US rival Cisco after the networking firm made allegations about the Chinese company relating to a lawsuit between the two firms.

The case dates back to 2003 and relates to the alleged theft of source code by Huawei from Cisco for use in its networking products. The case was settled confidentially out of court.

Cisco complained about what it saw as a willful distortion of the facts of the case after Huawei's chief representative in the US, Charles Ding, claimed the outcome was that Cisco stood down over its allegations.

In response, Cisco released excerpts from a report by an independent analyst that was used to form the basis of a settlement, which Cisco said proved Huawei had used its source code in its products.

However, in a statement sent to The INQUIRER, Huawei said it was "disappointed with the continued rhetoric from Cisco" and claimed there was no basis to its argument.

"With respect to the lawsuit which took place about 10 years ago, the fact is the court dismissed the case, upon a joint stipulation of the parties, after the neutral expert's review. This shows Cisco's present allegations have no merit," it said.

Furthermore, the firm also said it didn't believe Cisco had the right to report elements of the review.

"We don't think Ding violated the agreement between Cisco and Huawei, which had a negotiated confidentiality provision in it," it said. "Cisco's general counsel's selective and misleading cropping of a confidential report from the Neutral Expert may have violated that provision."

Huawei added that it would consider releasing more information on the case, though, in an effort to paint a more complete picture of the case.

"However, since Cisco has put selected snippets into the public domain, the truth may require that more than carefully selected quotes be put in the public record. Huawei is exploring the best way to accomplish that goal," it said.

The INQUIRER contacted Cisco for a response to the statements from Huawei, but it declined to comment.

The spat comes as Huawei faces major criticism from the US government over its ties with the Chinese government and military, with an 11-month investigation in the firm and its counterpart ZTE, concluding that US firms should be wary of using their services.

Huawei dismissed these criticisms, but it was enough to force the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) to say it would review the firm's working relationship with BT, as the Chinese firm looks to broaden its interests in the UK. µ


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