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Huawei sues Verizon for $1bn patent infringement

Dr Song Liuping Huawei NEW.jpg

Huawei has filed lawsuits against Verizon for patent infringements, seeking compensation to the amount of $1 billion.

According to the Chinese vendor, Verizon has been unlawfully using technology that is protected by 12 of Huawei's US patents. Before filing the lawsuits in District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, Huawei said that it had been in negotiations with Verizon, where it had supplied Verizon with ‘a detailed list of patents and factual evidence of Verizon’s use of Huawei patents’. Unfortunately, these negotiations fell apart as the two couldn’t reach an agreement on license terms.

"Verizon's products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development," said Dr Song Liuping (pictured), Huawei's chief legal officer. "We invest heavily in R&D because we want to provide our customers with the best possible telecommunications solutions. We share these innovations with the broader industry through license agreements. For years now we have successfully negotiated patent license agreements with many companies. Unfortunately, when no agreement can be reached, we have no choice but to seek a legal remedy.”

The vendor is adamant that it is happy to share its innovations with the industry at large, citing its existing licence agreements with more 100 ICT vendors in the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea. But maintains that Verizon should “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".

The company says that it has spent more than $15 billion in R&D in 2018, accounting for more than 15% of the company’s annual revenue. This totals more than $70 billion over the last 10 years resulting in more than 80,000 global patents, 10,000 of which in the US alone.

Verizon responded in a statement saying: “Huawei’s lawsuit filed overnight, in the very early morning, is nothing more than a PR stunt. This lawsuit is a sneak attack on our company and the entire tech ecosystem. Huawei’s real target is not Verizon; it is any country or company that defies it. The action lacks merit, and we look forward to vigorously defending ourselves."

The news follows the report made last year, where Huawei first announced that Verizon owed “more than $1 billion” in patent licensing fees. According to reports, the patents are used in equipment made by other vendors and then supplied to Verizon for use in its networks.

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