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Three men charged yesterday with conspiring to steal source code and software from Lucent Technologies allegedly wanted to build their own version of Lucent's PathStar Access Server.

According to excerpts from the complaint, filed in a U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., the PathStar, which Lucent discontinued in February, is a system that lets ISPs provide voice and data over IP packet networks. The PathStar converts analog voice signals to and from IP packets, merges voice and data packets and handles delivery and routing to and from the IP network backbone while providing call waiting, speed dialing, conference calling and other telephony features. It's designed to replace six separate network elements, including VoIP gateway, digital loop carrier, telephony systems, remote access servers, DSL access multiplexer and edge routers and is purported to reduce capital and network operations costs by up to 70 percent.

The system generated about $100 million in revenue for Lucent in 2000 and commands a 93-percent share of the telephony and packet networking integration markets, the statement says. Lucent reported about $33.6 billion in revenues from continuing operations at the end of its fiscal year in September 2000.

The three, Hai Lin, Kai Xu and Yong Qing Cheng, are being held without bail until a Tuesday hearing. They each could face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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