United States network equipment provider 3Com has formed a joint venture with China's Huawei Technologies, which faces a lawsuit brought by another US company, Cisco Systems, accusing it of copyright infringements. 'The lawsuit is between Cisco and Huawei. I don't think it is much related to our joint venture with Huawei,' Rockies Ma, country manager of 3Com Hong Kong, said yesterday. Cisco, the world's No 1 network equipment maker, filed a lawsuit in January alleging Huawei had copied its intellectual property and infringed patents. A spokesman for Shenzhen-based Huawei said the new venture showed 3Com's confidence in Huawei's respect for intellect property rights. 'Both parties have conducted in-depth investigations over fields like [intellectual property rights], capability of managing IP [Internet protocol] solutions, especially the source code of our routers and LAN [local area network] switches,' spokesman Fu Jun said. 'The investigation result is positive. Both sides are optimistic towards the joint venture. The lawsuit does not have any great impact towards our venture.' The joint venture will be based in Hong Kong with its principal operations in Hangzhou on the mainland. 3Com will inject US$160 million cash, 50 staff in Japan and China, and a number of licences. Huawei will contribute network business assets including IP switches, routers, sales and marketing resources, 1,000 staff and related intellectual property. 'The future products will be unique and they will be following the international standard of intellectual property,' Mr Ma said. 3Com expects the venture, which is awaiting approval from the Chinese and United States governments, to begin operating in June. Meanwhile, Cisco said it would keep a close eye on the joint venture. 'We have very strong concerns that any joint venture between 3Com and Huawei respects the intellectual property rights of Cisco Systems,' spokesman Terry Alberstein said. It wanted to make sure that products the joint venture brought to market did not infringe Cisco's rights. Analysts said the joint venture would be positive for both 3Com and Huawei. 'The problem Huawei has is [the lack of] a distribution channel for its equipment to outside [markets]. Having 3Com's help will be a big boon to Huawei,' said Andrew Chetham of research firm Gartner. 'For 3Com, it needs Huawei to penetrate one of the fastest growing markets.'