Alcatel sues Cisco for patent infringements

France-based telecommunications vendor Alcatel SA on Wednesday announced that it has filed three patent infringement lawsuits against networking giant Cisco Systems, two in the US and the other in the Netherlands.

In the two US suits, which were filed last week, Alcatel accuses San Jose-based Cisco of violating five patents that are held by two of its divisions. Officials at both companies acknowledged the existence of the lawsuits but declined to comment on them.

In its announcement, Alcatel said one of the US suits -- filed in US District Court in Los Angeles -- alleges that Cisco infringed on four of its US patents related to routing and switching technologies for sending information through communications networks. The other suit, filed in US District Court in Sherman, Texas, claims that Cisco violated another patent as well as Alcatel's copyright and trade secret rights. More specific details about that suit weren't disclosed.

In yet another action, Alcatel's subsidiary in the Netherlands also filed a suit against Cisco and its Netherlands affiliates in a court in the Hague for allegedly violating a European patent held by Alcatel.

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