Huawei Sues Verizon for Patent Infringement

SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Thursday it has filed two lawsuits in Texas courts against Verizon that accuse the U.S. wireless carrier of patent infringement.

The move is the latest by Huawei to use U.S. courts to protect its interests as President Trump’s administration continues a campaign to cripple the company worldwide.

The lawsuits are not directly related to that larger battle, however, dealing instead with allegations by Huawei that Verizon breached a dozen of its patents.

(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

These range from patents concerning network security to remote access protocols.

Huawei said it had discussed the issues with Verizon on multiple occasions over a “significant period of time” but failed to resolve the disputes.

It is seeking an undisclosed amount of compensation.

Verizon did not respond to requests for comment.

Huawei said it holds more than 80,000 patents worldwide, including more than 10,000 in the United States, and has received more than $1.4 billion in patent license fees since 2015.

Late last year, it petitioned a U.S. court to overturn a ban that prevents carriers in rural America from tapping an $8.5-billion federal fund to buy Huawei equipment.

The block was imposed on national security grounds, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Huawei also last March filed a lawsuit declaring a 2019 U.S. defense bill unconstitutional, for essentially barring government agencies from any business with the company.

The U.S. government considers Huawei a potential security threat due to the background of its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese army engineer.

The concern escalated as Huawei rose to become the world leader in telecom networking equipment and one of the top smartphone manufacturers, and after Beijing’s passage of a 2017 law obliging Chinese companies to assist the government in matters of national security.

Trump moved last year to block U.S. companies from working with Huawei but has offered a series of temporary reprieves to allow service providers covering remote rural areas time to comply.

Huawei dismisses the security accusations and says Washington has provided no evidence.

Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou — Ren’s daughter — is fighting extradition from Canada to the United States on fraud and conspiracy charges tied to U.S. sanctions.

© Agence France-Presse

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