Telecommunications giant Huawei has sued Verizon Wireless, alleging that the carrier is infringing on 12 of its U.S. patents.
“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development,” Huawei chief legal officer Dr. Song Liuping said in a prepared statement. “We invest heavily in R&D because we want to provide our customers with the best possible telecommunications solutions. We share these innovations with the broader industry through license agreements … 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.”
According to Huawei, it has successfully negotiated patent license agreements with many companies. But it hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with Verizon after negotiating for “a significant period of time,” so it is seeking a legal remedy. Huawei says that it provided Verizon with a detailed list of patents and “factual evidence of Verizon’s use of Huawei patents.”
The Huawei patents in question are all related to networking, of course, and since Huawei is the world’s largest networking firm, it shouldn’t be surprising that the firm has protected its investments with numerous patents. In fact, it owns 80,000 patents worldwide and 10,000 in the U.S. alone. The firm spent $15 billion on R&D in 2018, nearly 15 percent of its annual revenue, and it has spent about $70 billion on R&D over the past decade. Huawei has recouped over $1.4 billion in patent license fees since 2015, it says.