Huawei sues ZTE in Chinese giant patent spat

Huawei has filed lawsuits against rival ZTE accusing the telecommunications firm of infringing upon patents and trademarks of its data card and LTE technologies.

The suits, filed in Germany, France and Hungary allege that ZTE has been willingly infringing upon a number of LTE patents as well as even using the Huawei trademark on some data card products, without agreement.

According to Huawei’s chief legal officer, Dr Song Liuping, the company wants to “stop the illegal use of Huawei’s intellectual property” and is willing to enter negotiations with ZTE so as to ensure that disputed technology is “used in a lawful manner”.

The move appears to be a step up from cease and desist letters Huawei has been sending to ZTE.

Huawei claims that it has attempted to enter into cross patent licensing negotiations with the firm without court intervention in the past on “numerous occasions” – but was evidently unsuccessful.

Having received no response indicating that its wishes are fulfilled, it claims it has no alternative but to drag ZTE through the European courts.

In a statement today, Huawei took the moral high ground, stating that last year it paid $222 million in patent licensing fees for relevant technologies. It is demanding that it ZTE follow its lead as an exemplary role model, not caring to mention that whole Motorola and NSN business.

“Where violations are taking place, we will do whatever is required to ensure that the use of Huawei’s intellectual property by any company is based on internationally accepted protocols and practices,” Dr. Song said.

The two have recently posted decent profits, with ZTE’s growth in part due to its market success with data cards.

ZTE says it is “astonished”. A spokesperson told TechEye: “ZTE Corporation is astonished that Huawei Technologies has taken these legal actions. As a company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, ZTE respects and adheres to international intellectual property laws and regulations without reservation, and absolutely rejects that there has been any patent and trademark infringement.

“ZTE is always willing to negotiate on issues in good faith, but will definitely take vigorous legal action in situations like this to protect its interests and those of its customers worldwide.”