3Com allowed to join Cisco-Huawei legal fray

3Com Corp. can participate in a lawsuit filed by Cisco Systems Inc. against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a judge ruled this week.

3Com will be able to assist Huawei in future court proceedings, but the decision won’t affect the timing of the case, a judge said. Huawei is being sued by Cisco for copyright and patent infringements.

3Com’s stake in the case comes from the joint venture the company formed with Huawei in March, where 3Com will resell enterprise network gear based on Huawei technology. The first product from the venture, a LAN backbone switch called the 3Com Switch 7700, was released last month.

Cisco sued Huawei, a China-based maker of WAN routers and LAN switches, for patent and copyright infringement in January. Cisco alleges that Huawei hijacked its IOS software and copied text from Cisco training manuals.

A Texas court last month issued an injunction against Huawei to stop using Cisco software and training materials, but the company said it had already removed any offending lines of code or text from its products and documentation. Cisco had sought a court order barring Huawei from selling any products in the U.S., but the ruling stopped short of that.

Cisco said it did not object to 3Com’s participation in the case.