Huawei and Verizon are squaring off in America over allegations of patent infringement and failed licensing deals.
On Thursday, Huawei sued Verizon in two plaintiff-friendly courts, accusing the cellular giant of ripping off patents it holds on voice and data mobile networks. The lawsuits were filed on the same day in the Texas Eastern [PDF] and Western [PDF] federal district courts. The patents in question are:
- US Patent 7,965,709 - Bridge forwarding method and apparatus.
- US Patent 8,154,986 - Method for fast converging end-to-end services and provider edge equipment.
- US Patent 10,027,693 - Method, device and system for alerting against unknown malicious codes within a network environment.
- US Patent 7,609,288 - Method and apparatus of transferring the desktop of PC to video communication terminal.
- US Patent 9,521,366 - Method and apparatus for playing conference signal, video conference terminal, and mobile device.
- US Patent 7,715,832 - Mobile terminal and a method for implementing the guardianship function.
- US Patent 8,761,839 - Method and mobile terminal for processing contacts.
- US Patent 8,270,433 - Sending method, receiving and processing method and apparatus for adapting payload bandwidth for data transmission.
- US Patent 9,014,151 - Method and apparatus for transmitting low-rate traffic signal in optical transport network.
- US Patent 8,406,236 - Method and apparatus for transporting client signal in optical transport network.
- US Patent 8,824,505 - Method and apparatus for transporting client signals in an optical transport network.
- US Patent 9,312,982 - Method and apparatus for mapping and de-mapping in an optical transport network.
According to Huawei, the legal action is only being filed after it tried for years to get a license deal done with Verizon for what it believes are the results of valuable research work.
"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," said Huawei chief legal officer Dr. Song Liuping.
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"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."
To hear Verizon tell the story, however, the filing is anything but licensing business as usual. A brief but damning statement from the carrier accuses Huawei of lashing out against it and other US telcos.
"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," the statement reads.
"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."
Tough talk aside, it is most likely that the case will be settled well before it ever goes to trial, as the two sides are likely to eventually hammer out an agreement rather than fight it out in the courts. ®