A Huawei store in Beijing on Nov. 17, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Coco Gao)

Huawei has filed two lawsuits against Verizon, alleging that the US carrier infringed on 12 patents held by the Chinese telecommunications company.

Why it matters: The move is a sign of escalating intellectual property (IP) disputes between the US and Huawei, which has long been accused of IP theft.

  • The Shenzhen-based company has been involved in several lawsuits, accused of stealing technology from US companies including smartphone brand Motorola, software maker Cisco, and telecommunications company Quintel.
  • Huawei had been granted 87,805 patents globally and 11,152 of them are registered in the US, the company said on Thursday.

“We invest heavily in R&D because we want to provide our customers with the best possible telecommunications solutions…Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development.”

—Song Liuping, Huawei chief legal officer, in the statement

Details: Huawei has filed lawsuits against Verizon in the US District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, seeking compensation for the US company’s use of technology that is protected by 12 of Huawei’s patents, according to a company statement sent to TechNode on Thursday.

  • Huawei said it had negotiated with Verizon for a “significant period of time” before filing the lawsuits, but the two company “were unable to reach an agreement on license terms.”
  • The company said it has invested 10% to 15% of its revenue in research and development (R & D) every year for the past decade.
  • Verizon did not immediately reply to requests for comment on Thursday.

Context: Huawei asked Verizon to pay licensing fees for more than 230 of its patents and sought more than $1 billion, Reuters reported in June.

  • US Senator Marco Rubio said in July that Congress should stop Huawei from “using patent troll tactics and weaponizing the U.S. legal system against American companies.”
  • The company last year sued the US government over a law that prohibits federal agencies from using its equipment.

Wei Sheng

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.

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