The Chinese giant said that the unauthorised use of 12 of its patents by Verizon will lead them to the courthouse
Huawei’s concerns over Verizon’s use of its patented technology is nothing new, with the companies having had around six meetings since this time last year to discuss the matter. Indeed, at around the time Huawei was blacklisted by the US government last summer, they were currently in the process of demanding license fee payments from Verizon for more than 230 patents, seeking a total of over $1 billion.
Now, the time for simple requests are over, with Huawei announcing that it will sue Verizon over 12 specific patents.
“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development,” Huawei’s chief legal office said in a statement.
These patents relate to a variety of technology, from network security measures to parental controls, though none directly relate to 5G.
The exact compensation which Huawei is seeking from this legal dispute is unspecified, since Huawei seemingly does not know the full extent of the patents’ contribution to Verizon’s services at this time.
Despite concerns over a far larger number of patents, Huawei has chosen to begin with these 12 since the evidence related to them was clearest and would offer the court a manageable sample to begin with.
The global dominance of Huawei’s R&D is a problem for US, as the country struggles to keep pace in the technological race. A few weeks ago, a group of US senators proposed to funnel more than $1 billion into the development of open RAN technology in an effort to elevate US companies to the level of their Chinese rivals. This will be a tall order, however, with Huawei boasting of an $15 billion R&D investment in 2018 and a prolific patent record over more than 80,000 worldwide.
Yesterday, the government continued its push to find Huawei alternatives, announcing that it was working closely with domestic tech giants such as Microsoft, Dell, and AT&T to develop a common engineering standard, therefore allowing 5G software developers to run their code on all available 5G hardware. In this way, they hope to reduce their reliance on Huawei equipment.
Huawei executives have been unphased by this news, however, with Andy Purdy, Huawei’s chief US security officer noting that any solution developed would still likely be a year or two behind Huawei products regarding “functionality and assurance.”
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