Huawei has filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement by Verizon.
David Kirton reported the news for Reuters:
China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has launched legal action against Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), alleging the U.S. carrier used 12 of its patents without authorization.
The telecommunications equipment maker is seeking compensation for the use of its technology in areas such as computer networking, download security and video communications, and is also seeking ongoing royalty payments, showed documents filed with the Eastern and Western District courts in Texas.
Verizon has previously declined to comment on its patent dispute with Huawei.
“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development,” Huawei’s Chief Legal Office said in a statement.
“Huawei is simply asking that Verizon respect Huawei’s investment in research and development by either paying for the use of our patents, or refraining from using them in its products and services.”
Zen Soo from the South China Morning Post wrote:
The world’s largest provider of telecoms equipment alleges that Verizon is using technology that is protected by 12 of its US patents. It said it has approached Verizon multiple times to negotiate licensing fees since February 2019 and that it had previously furnished the US telecoms company with a list of patents and evidence, but the two companies were unable to agree on licence terms.
“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development,” said Huawei’s chief legal officer Song Liuping in a statement announcing that lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern and Western District courts in Texas.
“For years now we have successfully negotiated patent license agreements with many companies,” Song said. “Unfortunately, when no agreement can be reached, we have no choice but to seek a legal remedy.”
Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
Huawei is currently caught in the middle of a tech war between the US and China as it seeks to take the lead in 5G networks globally. Washington has argued that Huawei equipment could be used as a conduit for Chinese intelligence activities, although the company has categorically denied these accusations and insisted it would never spy for the Chinese government.
Catherine Shu from TechCrunch noted:
Huawei technology is used by telecommunication companies around the world. In a press release about the lawsuits, it says it puts about 10% to 15% of its revenue into research and development each year, and has spent about $70 billion on R&D over the last decade, including about $15 billion in 2018 alone.
This resulted in Huawei receiving more than 80,000 patents around the world, including 10,000 in the U.S.
In its filings, Huawei claims Verizon has “profited greatly” from infringing on its patents, noting that Verizon Communication’s total revenue for its wireline division in 2018 was $29.8 billion.
Huawei maintains a close relationship with many other tech companies, including some competitors, through licenses. It says that it has received more than $1.4 billion in patent license fees since 2015 and in addition to providing access to its own technology, has also paid over $6 billion for licensing patents from other companies, with more than 100 license agreements signed with vendors in the U.S., Europe, Japan and South Korea.
In its press release, Huawei’s chief legal officer Song Liuping said “Verizon’s products and services have benefitted from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development.”