Patent Fight

Verizon and Huawei settle patent lawsuit

At the centre of the feud were 12 standards-relevant patents that Huawei said Verizon was using in its infrastructure.

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Verizon and Huawei have reached a settlement in a patent litigation lawsuit. dating back to 2019 when Huawei said it approached Verizon about licensing some of its technologies. After nearly a year of negotiations, talks between the two companies broke down on January 21st, 2020, and Huawei went on to file multiple lawsuits against the telecom in courts across Texas.

At the centre of the feud were 12 standards-relevant patents that Huawei said Verizon was using in its infrastructure.

Huawei kicked off the dispute in 2019 when it presented Verizon with a bill of over $1 billion for licenses to more than 230 of its patents. The company followed up in 2020 with a patent-infringement lawsuit, alleging Verizon used a dozen Huawei patents without authorization in areas such as computer networking, download security and video communications.

Huawei said at the time it was “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.”

Verizon, for its part, called the lawsuit “nothing more than a PR stunt” and “a sneak attack on our company and the entire tech ecosystem.” The company also filed a counterclaim.

However, Verizon as since changed its stance. Verizon spokesperson Rich Young stated:

“Verizon is happy with the settlement reached with Huawei involving patent lawsuits. While terms of the settlement are not being disclosed, our team did an outstanding job bringing this protracted matter to a close.

Our company continues to focus on what truly matters: providing millions of consumers and businesses with outstanding technology built on America’s most reliable networks.”

For Huawei, this is precisely the type of outcome the company had hoped for when it announced at the start of 2021 that it planned to monetize its patent portfolio more aggressively.

While the US and other parts of the world have barred it from their national 5G networks, the Chinese company is ideally situated to make money on licensing fees.

It has among the most 5G-related standards-relevant patents of any company in the world. To that end, it estimated the licensing strategy could help it generate as much as $1.3 billion in additional revenue between 2019 and the end of 2021.

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