Tech giant Huawei is accusing American telecommunications company Verizon of violating several patents, a lawsuit filed in Texas on Thursday shows.
Verizon Communications violated 12 patents on digital communications and other technology, Huawei said in a copy of the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after negotiations did not produce a licensing agreement, the company added.
Huawei has long denied claims that it poses a risk to U.S. security. Though such appeals have fallen on deaf ears in Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump imposed sanctions in May 2019 barring Huawei’s access to U.S. technology components.
The company claims to have collected $1.4 billion in U.S. patent fees over the past five years, so the lawsuit is Huawei’s attempt to retain some value from its connections to the U.S. (RELATED: STUDY: Leaked Huawei Resumes Reveal Extensive Ties To Chinese Intel Agencies)
“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,” Song Liuping, Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer, said in a press statement Thursday.
Verizon is pushing back, calling the company’s lawsuit 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,” Verizon spokesman Rich Young said in a statement Thursday.
Department of Justice officials charged Huawei in January 2019 on several counts of fraud.
The 13-count indictment against Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, accused the tech giant of bank fraud, wire fraud and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. It was also charged with conspiring to obstruct justice related to the DOJ’s investigation. U.S. lawmakers have gotten in on the fight as well.
The Trump administration meanwhile unsuccessfully applied pressure on the United Kingdom to avoid using Huawei to build out its fifth-generation network. Britain announced in January plans to allow the company limited access to the country’s 5G networks.
China has reportedly spent $24 billion more on wireless communications infrastructure since 2015 than the U.S. The country also built more 5G towers in a three-month span in 2017 than the U.S. did in three years. There are also concerns that Huawei’s and ZTE’s close ties to China leave the U.S. open to cyberattacks.
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