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Huawei files suit against Verizon, alleging unauthorised patent use

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Huawei is seeking compensation for the use of its technology in areas like computer networking, download security and video communications, and is also asking for ongoing royalty payments.

Shenzhen

CHINA'S Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has launched legal action against Verizon Communications Inc, alleging the US carrier used 12 of its patents without authorisation.

The telecommunications equipment maker is seeking compensation for the use of its technology in areas such as computer networking, download security and video communications, and is also seeking ongoing royalty payments, according to documents filed with the Eastern and Western District courts in Texas.

Verizon had previously declined to comment on its patent dispute with Huawei.

"Verizon's products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development," Huawei's chief legal officer said in a statement.

"Huawei is simply asking that Verizon respect Huawei's investment in research and development by either paying for the use of our patents, or refraining from using them in its products and services."

Huawei could not provide a figure on the compensation as it does not have a breakdown of the patents' alleged contribution to Verizon's services, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

In the court documents, Huawei said Verizon has "profited greatly" from its technology, with the US firm's Wireline segment - which covers voice, data and video communications products - generating revenue of US$29.8 billion in 2018.

Huawei and Verizon held six face-to-face meetings over the matter since February last year but did not reach an agreement, said the person, who was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei was seeking compensation from Verizon for the use of more than 200 of its patents.

The Chinese company decided to take action for 12 patents because it considered evidence for them was clearest and that the number was manageable for the court, the person told Reuters.

Huawei in December also mounted a legal challenge against the US Federal Communications Commission after the body designated it a security threat - which Huawei denies - and barred it from a government subsidy programme.

The company is "still confident" in legal proceedings in the United States, the person said.

Huawei has received more than US$1.4 billion in patent licence fees since 2015 and paid over US$6 billion for the use of patented technology in that time, the company said in its statement. REUTERS