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Huawei Back in Court With Patent Suit Against Verizon

Huawei has added another case to its growing legal docket -- this time with a patent infringement lawsuit against Verizon.

In a case filed in Texas, Huawei says it is seeking compensation for Verizon's use of technology that it says is covered by 12 US patents.

Huawei hasn't nominated a specific sum in damages but says it is seeking compensation over the alleged breaches as well as ongoing royalties.

The Chinese vendor is not a direct supplier to Verizon. Additionally, the case is a rare example of a vendor claiming a service provider, rather than another vendor, violated its IP rights.

Huawei's claim cites two sets of patents. One set of seven patents, embedded in Cisco and Juniper routers and Cisco conference equipment, was allegedly infringed by Verizon "making, using, selling, and offering" the products for sale.

In another set of five patents, including four relating to optical transport transmission, Verizon allegedly "induced third parties" to use, sell or import the technologies.

In a statement, Huawei said it had met with Verizon on six separate occasions over the past year and provided "a detailed list of patents and factual evidence of Verizon's use of Huawei patents."


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But the two parties were unable to reach an agreement on license terms, Huawei said.

"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," said Dr Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer.

Huawei says it has signed more than 100 license agreements with US, European, Japanese and South Korean ICT vendors.

Separately, Huawei is pursuing two other major US lawsuits. One asks a court to strike down a US government ban on Huawei products on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The other, against the FCC, contests the company's exclusion from the FCC's subsidies scheme for rural carriers. (See Huawei Asks Judge to Slap Down US Ban: 'No Gun, No Smoke. Only Speculation' and Huawei Appeals FCC Decision to Declare It a National Security Risk.)

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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