Fresh from its most recent bout of litigation against Motorola, Huawei has announced that it is suing ZTE for patent infringement. The world’s second biggest kit maker has revealed that it is to file suits against its rival in France, Germany and Hungary over what it claims are patent and trademark infringements relating to data card and LTE technologies. In addition, Huawei alleges that ZTE used one of its registered trademarks illegally on some of its data card products.
In a statement on the Huawei website, chief legal officer Song Liuping said that the company was “compelled to initiate this action in order to protect our innovations and registered intellectual property in Europe.” The company says that legal action became necessary after ZTE failed to respond to cease and desist letters calling on it to “stop carrying out the infringing acts that are the basis for these proceedings.” According to Huawei, it had “actively invited” ZTE to enter into cross-patent licensing negotiations on numerous occasions, but to no avail. Huawei claims to have itself paid $222m in patent licensing fees to “other leading companies in the industry.”
This is the second time that ZTE has been hit with legal action in less than a month. In early April, Ericsson announced that it had filed suits in Germany, the UK and Italy against ZTE for what it says are infringements on technology such as WCDMA, which ZTE uses in its handsets and infrastructure. Like Huawei, Ericsson claimed that lengthy and repeated attempts to resolve the issue with ZTE had come to naught. For its part, ZTE denied the allegations and hit back with a lawsuit of its own against Ericsson. The manufacturer has responded to the allegations with a statement that it is “astonished” by the action, adding that it “respects and adheres to international intellectual property laws and regulations without reservation, and absolutely rejects that there has been any patent and trademark infringement.”
Whether the pair will kiss and make up before a full-on trial gets underway remains to be seen, but recent reconciliations between sparring telcos have become something of a trend in recent months.
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