Huawei is suing Verizon for $1bn for patent infringement

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The Chinese giant, which has itself often been accused of the industrial espionage, is filing lawsuits across the state of Texas.

The two have been in negotiations regarding Verizon’s use of patents since February last year, but they have been unable to reach agreement.

Huawei claims US operator uses the patents in its network infrastructure, in equipment supplied to the operator via third parties, and that it should pay Huawei for their use.

Sneak attack

Rich Young, a Verizon spokesperson, said in a statement that, "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.”

No choice

In a statement Dr Song Liuping, Huawei's Chief Legal Officer said, “Verizon's products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development. 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.

“This is the common practice in the industry. 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.”

This spat is unlikely to ease the tensions between Huawei and the Trump Administration, which has banned the use of Huawei’s equipment in US 5G infrastructure on the ground’s that it might be used for espionage by the Chinese state.

It has also accused the Chinese giant of industrial espionage and breaking international trade sanctions.