Huawei Technologies has reportedly told Verizon Communications Inc that the carrier should pay licensing fees for more than 230 of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker’s patents, seeking more than $1 billion.
Verizon should pay to “solve the patent licensing issue,” a Huawei intellectual property licensing executive wrote in February, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier. The patents cover network equipment for more than 20 of the company’s vendors, including major US tech firms, but those vendors would indemnify Verizon, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. Some of those firms reportedly have already been approached by Huawei directly.
The patents range from core network equipment, wireline infrastructure to internet-of-things technology, the Journal reported. Huawei and Verizon representatives met in New York last week to discuss some of the patents at issue and whether Verizon is using equipment from other companies that could infringe on Huawei patents.
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Verizon spokesman Rich Young declined to comment “regarding this specific issue because it’s a potential legal matter.”
“These issues are larger than just Verizon. Given the broader geopolitical context, any issue involving Huawei has implications for our entire industry and also raise national and international concerns,” Young added.
On Wednesday, Huawei released a memo protesting the US’ attempts to throttle it, alleging that it was being targeted “simply for being Chinese”. US intelligence agencies have previously accused the company of putting ‘backdoor’ access tools into its devices, enabling the Chinese government to spy on users. Huawei has repeatedly denied this.