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Huawei Claims Patent Talks With Verizon Is 'Common' Business

Huawei Claims Patent Talks With Verizon Is 'Common' Business
It should not be proper to politicize its patent related negotiations with the United States carrier Verizon because it is ‘common’ business activity, said Chinese tech firm Huawei. A few days ago, a senator filed legislation aimed to stop the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker from demanding fines for punitive damages from the US companies in American courts.
According to demands made earlier by Huawei, Verizon was liable to pay for its patents – more than 230 in number, that the carrier uses. The telecoms equipment maker has demanded more than $1 billion from Verizon according to reports. This issue between the tow companies has caught attentions because of the ongoing acrimonious trade war between the US and China.
While describing the demand made by Huawei from Verizon to be “baseless”, US Republican Senator Marco Rubio had filed the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which is the US defense law. The NDAA was implemented earlier to put a ban on the purchase of products from Huawei with federal money over concerns of national security.
“We simply don’t believe Marco Rubio’s amendment could be passed as law,” Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters on Thursday.
Song said that intellectual property (IP) rights “should not be politicized”. “IP is a private property issue and should be free from the competition, trade talks and any other allegations that countries have between them,” he said. He further added that Huawei had been holding negotiations on a regularly basis over patent licensing with a number of firms from the US, Europe and other areas of the globe.
Reports however confirmed that the amendment proposed by Rubio still has a long way to go before becoming a law. However, the NDAA has on earlier occasions been used successfully by lawmakers to impose restrictions on Chinese companies.
The allegations made against it by the US that its products pose threat to the national security of America have been denied several times by the Chinese firm which is currently the largest manufacturer of telecom equipment and the second largest shipper of smartphones in the world. Further, Huawei has also filed legal suits against the US government in American courts for putting it on a blacklist that effectively prevented it from doing any business with any American company. Huawei has also filed a case against the US government over the use of the NDAA.
Huawei has also alleged violation of trade secrets involving a memory control technology and employee poaching by CNEX Labs Inc. – the California semiconductor designer, and has also filed a case in this regards. While clearing CNEX of the charges, a US jury on Wednesday did not award any damages to the US company over it own claims of theft of trade secrets.
Huawei does not intent to ‘weaponize’ the IP rights that it has, Song said. Since 2015, more than $1.4 billion in licensing revenue has been generated by the Chinese firm and Song said that the company does not believe in charging exorbitant royalties.
“We are not going to be a company with a major source of revenue from royalties,” Song said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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