Verizon Calls Huawei Patent Infringement Lawsuit a 'Sneak Attack'

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Huawei today announced that it's filed multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Verizon, which it accused of violating 12 of its U.S. patents, after failing to reach a settlement despite negotiating for what Huawei called "a significant period of time."

The lawsuit follows June 2019 reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times indicating that Huawei believed Verizon had violated several of its patents. Huawei was reportedly seeking $1 billion in licensing fees to resolve the dispute.

Huawei said that it "provided a detailed list of patents and factual evidence of Verizon’s use of Huawei patents" during the companies' negotiations. They couldn't reach an agreement, though, which is why the dispute is now heading to court.

Here's what Huawei said about the potential cost of this alleged patent infringement:

"Huawei re-invests 10% to 15% of its revenue in R&D each year. The company has spent more than $70 billion U.S. dollars on R&D in the past decade, which has resulted in more than 80,000 patents worldwide – including over 10,000 patents in the United States alone. These innovations are not just the cornerstone of Huawei's own success; they are also widely used by companies around the world, delivering value both in the United States and elsewhere."

The company also said that it's earned $1.4 billion in patent licensing fees since 2015 and also paid out over $6 billion to license other companies' technologies in that timeframe. Some 80% of that was said to have gone to U.S. companies.

Huawei filed the lawsuits in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas and said in its announcement it's "seeking compensation for Verizon's use of patented technology" for ongoing royalty payments and an unspecified amount of compensation. 

Verizon also released a statement today:

"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."

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • derekullo
    3am central time is 5pm in Hong Kong.

    Time zones are a thing...

    Less a sneak attack and more lets hit the send button before we clock out at 5pm.

    I'm sure Verizon has many ways to vigorously defend itself but taking issue with the time the lawsuit was filed feels odd.