Cisco and Huawei have been entangled in legal battles over a number of years in the past, with accusations of wholesale code theft, uh, I mean “code reuse”, the duplication of IOS documentation, Huawei’s replication of the IOS configuration system, and so on, with varying degrees of success.
I love though that yesterday Cisco issued a blog-based slapdown to Huawei’s Senior Vice President and Chief Representative in the US, Charles Ding, over claims he had made in public.
So here’s part of what Huawei’s Mr Ding said that kicked this thing off:
“If I remember well, that happened in 2003, when Cisco sued Huawei for intellectual property rights infringement …at that time, Huawei provided our source code of our products to Cisco for review and the results were that there was not any infringement found and in the end Cisco withdrew the case…this is the basic situation of that case.”
Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP, General Counsel and Secretary used his blog to respond to Ding’s statements, saying:
“To facilitate the understanding about what actually happened in the litigation and allow Huawei to itself clear up any confusion, we waive any confidentiality requirement for the report and suggest that Huawei itself have the expert’s complete final report put into the public domain”
Roughly translated, he called Huawei out and effectively said “put up or shut up.” Evidently, Huawei did not do so, which led to Mark Chandler posting again yesterday to set the record straight.
In my blog, I let Huawei and Mr. Ding know that Cisco would waive any confidentiality provisions from that litigation so the world could learn what really happened and suggested they publish the expert’s report from the litigation. Huawei and Mr. Ding have so far ignored my offer. Under the agreement that resolved the litigation, we are entitled to act on our own, so we now do so.
Oy, you! Outside. Car park. Now.
Here’s the thing though – this is tremendously civilized. I love it. I contend that all future legal battles should take place in blogs so that we can all watch the back and forth. We’ll be able to comment on the claims made by either side, and see as each one rebutts the other’s arguments. No judge needs to waste their time, and after a predetermined period is up, assuming there has been no knockout blow we (the public) will all vote for our proposed winner. Think of it as a blogsing match (see what I did there?)
It’s worth reading the Cisco blog posts in full to get the bigger picture. I can’t wait to see if Huawei responds. Will they hit below the belt? The gloves are off now, so let’s watch the fight.