American-based software giant Cisco has filed a lawsuit in Marshall, Texas, alleging that Chinese software firm Huawei had unlawfully copied its software source code and had infringed several company patents. Cisco officials said that before filing the suit, they had made numerous attempts to resolve the dispute, after customers had raised questions about the similarities between the two companies' products and manuals. They said they had also acted to stop Huawei's UK distributor releasing the disputed products there. Huawei declined to comment on the specific charges but said that it respected other people's intellectual property rights.
A victory for Cisco would effectively prevent Huawei's planned expansion in the US. Although analysts say that at present Huawei and other low-cost competitors do not pose a great threat to Cisco, they will squeeze the company's profit margins in the routine business that makes up 80 per cent of its sales.