Cisco Systems today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Huawei Technologies and its subsidiaries, Huawei America and FutureWei Technologies over Huawei’s unlawful copying of Cisco’s intellectual property.
Cisco’s suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleges that Huawei unlawfully copied and misappropriated Cisco’s IOS software, including source code, copied Cisco documentation and other copyrighted materials, and infringed numerous other Cisco patents.
Cisco is seeking remedies to prohibit the continued misappropriation of its intellectual property by Huawei and recover damages resulting from Huawei’s illegal actions.
Cisco is also said to have served a cease and desist letter on Spot Distribution, a Huawei distributor located in the United Kingdom, for distributing Huawei products that copy Cisco’s intellectual property.
‘Cisco’s technological leadership is the result of significant investment in research and development, and it is Cisco’s responsibility to protect its intellectual property,’ said Mark Chandler, Vice President and General Counsel, Cisco Systems. ‘Cisco does not take any legal action lightly. However, Huawei has unlawfully copied Cisco’s intellectual property and refused Cisco’s numerous attempts to resolve these issues. As a result, Cisco has no choice but to protect its technology and the interests of its shareholders through legal action.’
Cisco alleges that Huawei has copied portions of the Cisco IOS source code and included the technology in its operating system for its Quidway routers and switches. Huawei’s operating system contains a number of text strings, file names, and bugs that are identical to those found in Cisco’s IOS source code.
Huawei is also accused of copying extensively from Cisco’s copyrighted technical documentation and included whole portions of Cisco’s text in Huawei’s user manuals for Quidway routers and switches.
Cisco also alleges that Huawei has copied Cisco’s Command Line Interface (CLI) and corresponding screen displays. CLI, a key component of Cisco’s copyrighted IOS software, is the user interface that enables users to communicate with the routers. Extensive portions of Cisco’s CLI and help screens appear verbatim in Huawei’s operating system for its Quidway routers and switches.
Finally, Cisco alleges that Huawei is infringing at least five Cisco patents related to proprietary routing protocols and has included these technologies in its Quidway routers and switches.
‘Innovation and competition are the lifeblood of our industry and must be preserved. But copying is not innovation and the misappropriation of intellectual property is not competition,’ Chandler continued.
Cisco is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting Huawei from using, selling, marketing, or distributing versions of their Quidway routers and switches that infringe Cisco’s intellectual property. Cisco also is seeking monetary damages as compensation for Huawei’s misappropriation of Cisco’s intellectual property.