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Huawei smacks ZTE with patent and trademark lawsuits

Chinese whispers on foreign turf

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Updated Huawei has launched patent and trademark litigation against ZTE in Germany, France and Hungary alleging that its competitor has been selling kit bearing Huawei's logo as well as using its technology.

Huawei claims that ZTE has been sticking its trademark on some data cards, as well as infringing various patents including those related to LTE (4G) technologies. Both companies are based in China, but the litigation relates to the kit sold abroad and thus protected by European laws on intellectual property.

Perhaps sensitive to the perception that Chinese companies are often rather lax regarding intellectual property, Huawei reminds us that last year it shelled out $222m in IP licence fees, and that it spent $2.5bn creating new technologies.

The company also claims to have attempted to negotiate with ZTE, initially politely and then with a series of cease-and-desist letters, none of which received any substantive response, according to Huawei. ®

Update: ZTE has declared itself "astonished" to hear such accusations from Huawei, and "absolutely rejects that there has been any patent and trademark infringement". So it looks like this one is going to run for a while.

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