BEIJING – Chinese tech giant Huawei accused U.S. phone company Verizon of violating its patents in a lawsuit Thursday, broadening efforts to defend the company's business in the United States 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.
The lawsuit asks a U.S. federal court in Waco, Texas, to award unspecified damages and license fees.
Verizon, one of the largest U.S. telecom companies, said Thursday that the lawsuit was a “PR stunt” and that Huawei's target was “any country or company that defies it.” It said the company will defend itself.
Huawei, the No. 2 global smartphone brand and the biggest maker of network equipment for phone companies, denies U.S. allegations it might be a security risk or facilitate Chinese spying.
Sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in May block Huawei’s access to most U.S. components technology. The company says it has replaced most American technology in its main products.
Huawei’s U.S. market largely vanished after a congressional panel warned phone carriers in 2012 to avoid the company. It still serves small, mostly rural American carriers, although the U.S. government is trying to get Huawei out of those networks as well by barring telecom companies from using government subsidies for Huawei equipment. Meanwhile, Huawei has grown rapidly in Asia, Europe and developing countries.
Huawei has one of the world's biggest corporate research and development budgets at some $15 billion last year. The company says it it has collected more than $1.4 billion in patent fees from U.S. and other companies since 2015.
Huawei Technologies Ltd.: http://www.huawei.com