Ciena, Nortel Bury Legal Hatchet

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Ciena and Nortel Networks apparently decided that it is better to play together than to fight in court, announcing that they have reached a settlement in an ongoing skirmish over patents playing out in U.S. District Court in Texas.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the two network-gear suppliers will enter a long-term patent cross-licensing pact.

With that, Ciena will withdraw its suit filed against Nortel in January 2005, claiming that the Canadian gear maker infringed on six patents covering asynchronous-transfer-mode, synchronous-optical-network and wave-division-multiplexing technology. Nortel, in turn, will drop its suits filed against Ciena in April.

No other details were released in the terse, two-paragraph announcement issued by both companies Tuesday.