A legal dispute between Chinese equipment giants ZTE and Huawei has begun to escalate following the revelation that ZTE has initiated legal proceedings in a bid to nullify Huawei patents and a Huawei trademark in several countries.
In an attempt to render various Huawei “family patents” void, ZTE has reportedly initiated legal action with China’s State Intellectual Property Office. The patents were registered simultaneously across several markets, and ZTE has filed several lawsuits in Europe. The firm is attempting to nullify a patent on a USB connector device in France, and has appealed to European regulators to overturn a Huawei trademark.
Huawei has already begun a legal retaliation, claiming that ZTE has infringed certain datacard and LTE patents as well as “illegally” using a trademark on certain products that was registered by Huawei. The firm claims that ZTE was notified of these “infringing acts” by cease and desist letters, but took no such action. Huawei also alleges that it had attempted to initiate talks regarding cross-patent agreements with ZTE, but that its advances were spurned.
ZTE has refuted these claims, claiming that it is “always willing to negotiate on issues in good faith,” and “astonished” to find itself the target of Huawei’s lawsuit – as well as warning that it will “definitely take vigorous legal action in situations like this to protect its interests and those of its customers worldwide.”