3Com denies Huawei patent risks

A joint venture with Huawei will not infringe Cisco patents, says 3Com - though it is grateful for way Cisco's lawsuit has raised the Chinese vendor's profile

3Com will not sell any products that infringe Cisco patents through its joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Huawei. However, a spokesman said that Huawei's current high-profile lawsuit with Ciscomay actually work in its favour. The joint venture will allow 3Com to sell Huawei switches and routers outside China and Japan. 3Com is putting $160m (£100m) into the joint venture, which will see some 3Com products sold within China and Japan. Huawei's previous effort to enter Western markets, under its own brand, met difficulties when Cisco sued over alleged patent infringements. "We're aware of a dispute in the US, between Huawei and Cisco," said Buddie Ceronie, area sales director for 3Com in the UK. "No products in the joint venture, or sold by 3Com, will infringe any patents." There is no connection between the stinging lawsuit from Cisco and Huawei's decision to take a partner outside China, said Ceronie, however, 3Com can see a positive side to the dispute, he said: "Cisco has done a remarkable job of branding this company. Cisco has made it a global name, when a year ago no one had heard of Huawei." Huawei is a $3bn company, which does the lion's share of its business within China, while 3Com has a very good brand and a sophisticated channel, said Ceronie. "Neither of us could craft an optimal business model alone."

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