Cisco and Huawei agree to stay litigation

Cisco Systems and Huawei Technologies this week made an agreement that could soon end the lawsuit between the two companies.

Both network hardware makers agreed to stay litigation in a suit brought by Cisco against Huawei, claiming that the China company pirated Cisco IOS router code and lifted material from Cisco owners manuals.

As part of the new agreement, Huawei will continue to operate under the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in June. The injunction called for Huawei to change its router software, among other requirements.

The core issue in the lawsuit involved Cisco’s Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) source code. The Texas court ruled that specific code with this functionality - which speeds communication among routers for determining data paths - had to be removed from Huawei’s Versatile Routing Platform (VRP) software. Huawei claimed that this code was removed from VRP prior to the court ruling, which also barred Huawei from hiring any Cisco engineers who had worked on EIGRP.

Both companies have agreed on a process for an independent review of the changes in VRP. A completion of the review that is satisfactory to both parties would end the lawsuit. Other agreement terms are confidential.

3Com, which intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of Huawei in June, also agreed with the process for ending the lawsuit. 3Com and Huawei are involved in a joint venture where 3Com is selling Huawei-based routers and switches in the U.S. and other markets outside of Asia.

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