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HUAWEI launches a lawsuit against Verizon (Update: Verizon responds)
Update: February 6, 2020 (11:30 a.m. ET): Verizon Wireless has issued its response to HUAWEI’s lawsuit against the carrier. Since the statement is so brief, we will post it in full:
“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.”
Original article: February 6, 2020 (10:06 a.m. ET): Huawei is taking legal action against US mobile carrier Verizon for the unauthorized use of several of its patents. According to Reuters, HUAWEI claims Verizon illegally used as many as 200 patents, but the company has enough evidence on 12 of them to launch a strong lawsuit.
The patents in question cover areas like computer networking, video communications, and download security. The two companies held six face-to-face meetings over this alleged illegal patent use since February 2019 but did not reach an agreement.
HUAWEI can not provide an exact figure it seeks compensation for until it has a full breakdown of how Verizon has profited from using these alleged patents. As well as compensation for existing profits, the Chinese manufacturer is asking Verizon to fork over royalty payments if it chooses to keep using these patents.
Read also: Crazy idea: Maybe HUAWEI should permanently abandon official Android
“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that HUAWEI developed over many years of research and development,” said HUAWEI’s Chief Legal Office in a statement. “HUAWEI is simply asking that Verizon 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.”
Verizon’s Wireline segment — which covers voice, data, and video communications products — pulled in $29.8 billion in revenue in 2018, so HUAWEI could make a sizable profit from this lawsuit if these allegations are true. It may be some time before the courts come to a conclusion on this, especially since HUAWEI’s legal team already has its hands full with the US trade ban.