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Huawei hits back at Cisco over source code copy claims

15 Oct 2012
Huawei's global headquarters in Shenzhen

Huawei has hit back at rival Cisco after the US network giant made a highly public criticism of the Chinese firm relating to a legal case between the two firms.

The case dates back to 2004 and relates to the alleged theft of source code by Huawei from Cisco for use in its networking products. The case was settled confidentially.

Cisco, though, had taken umbrage at what it saw as a wilful distortion of the facts of the case after Huawei's chief representative in the US, Charles Ding, had 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 V3, 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 did add 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.

In response, Cisco's general counsel, Mark Chandler, repeated the firms calls for Huawei to release the report publically.

"We urge Huawei to publish the full Neutral Expert's Final Report in order to clarify what actually happened in the litigation, overcome any confusion and demonstrate their purported transparent business practices and respect for intellectual property rights," he said.

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.

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Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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