Chinese telecomm giant Huawei has sent a demand letter to another multinational telecomm giant, New York based Verizon, claiming $1 billion as a licensing fee for intellectual property of Huawei’s that it claims Verizon is using. There are more than 230 individual patents involved, and they include rights to core network equipment as well as internet-of-things technology.
The demand comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and China over a range of trade issues. Alleged Chinese infringement of the IP of US-based companies has long been a standard American complaint on the agenda of trade talks. In this instance, a plausible complaint going in the opposite direction, by a Chinese company, has obvious political/diplomatic value for Beijing.
In May, the Trump administration put Huawei on a blacklist on security grounds that bars it from doing business with US firms without government approval. Despite the blacklist, Huawei remains one of the world’s critical suppliers of equipment for the so-called 5th generation of cellular networks (5G).
The Thing to Know:
In the words of the headline on a Hong Kong newspaper (the South China Morning Post), “Huawei has 56,492 patents — and it’s not afraid to use them.”