Huawei files lawsuit against Verizon over unauthorized patent use

Huawei logo
A Huawei company logo is seen at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.

China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has launched legal action against Verizon Communications Inc, 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 the 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.”

Huawei could not provide a figure on the compensation as it does not have a breakdown of the patents’ alleged contribution to Verizon’s services, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

In the court documents, Huawei said Verizon has “profited greatly” from its technology, with the U.S. firm’s Wireline segment – which covers voice, data and video communications products – generating revenue of $29.8 billion in 2018.

Verizon
A man stands next to the logo of Verizon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Huawei and Verizon held six face-to-face meetings over the matter since February last year but did not reach an agreement, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei was seeking compensation from Verizon for the use of more than 200 of its patents.

The Chinese company decided to take action for 12 patents because it considered evidence for them was clearest and that the number was manageable for the court, the person said.

Huawei in December also mounted a legal challenge against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission after the body designated it a security threat – which Huawei denies – and barred it from a government subsidy program.

The company is still confident in legal proceedings in the United States, the person said.

Huawei has received more than $1.4 billion in patent license fees since 2015 and paid over $6 billion for the use of patented technology in that time, the company said in its statement.

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