Huawei, guarding US business, says Verizon violated patents

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese tech giant Huawei accused United States (US) phone carrier Verizon of violating its patents in a lawsuit filed yesterday, broadening efforts to defend company’s business in the US amid government sanctions.

Huawei Technologies Ltd accused Verizon Communications Inc of violating 12 patents on optical transmission, digital communications and other technology, according to a copy of the lawsuit released by the company.

Huawei said it filed the lawsuit after negotiations failed to produce a licensing agreement. In separate cases, Huawei also is challenging US government measures to limit its access to the American market on security grounds.

There was no indication yesterday’s lawsuit was related to those.

The suit asks a US federal court in Waco, Texas, to award unspecified damages and licence fees.

Huawei, the number two global smartphone brand and the biggest maker of network equipment for phone carriers, denies US allegations it might be a security risk or facilitate Chinese spying.

Sanctions imposed by the Trump administration last May block Huawei’s access to most US components technology.

The company said it has replaced most American technology in its main products.

Huawei’s US market largely vanished after a congressional panel warned phone carriers in 2012 to avoid the company.

It still serves small, mostly rural American carriers and has grown rapidly in Asia, Europe and developing countries.

Huawei has one of the world’s biggest corporate research and development budgets at some USD15 billion last year. The company said it has collected more than USD1.4 billion in patent fees from US and other companies since 2015.

File photo shows the logos of Huawei displayed at its retail shop window reflecting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing on January 29, 2019. Chinese tech giant Huawei has accused US phone carrier Verizon of violating its patents in a lawsuit, broadening efforts to defend its business in the US amid government sanctions. PHOTO: AP