Huawei in legal battle with Verizon over alleged unauthorised patent use
Shenzhen — China’s Huawei Technologies has launched legal action against Verizon Communications, alleging the US carrier used 12 of its patents without authorisation.
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 & development,” Huawei’s chief legal office said in a statement.
“Huawei is simply asking that Verizon respect Huawei’s investment in research & 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 US firm’s Wireline segment — which covers voice, data and video communications products — generating revenue of $29.8bn in 2018.
Huawei and Verizon have held six face-to-face meetings over the matter since February 2019 but have not reached an agreement, said the person, who was not authorised 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 also mounted a legal challenge in December against the US Federal Communications Commission after the body designated it a security threat — which Huawei denies — and barred it from a government subsidy programme.
The company is “still confident” in legal proceedings in the US, the person said.
Huawei has received more than $1.4bn in patent licence fees since 2015 and paid over $6bn for the use of patented technology in that time, the company said in its statement.