ZTE 'astonished' over Huawei patent-infringement lawsuits on LTE, data cards

Huawei filed patent-infringement lawsuits against its smaller Chinese rival ZTE--a sign of increased tension between the two companies.

Huawei, which like ZTE is based in Shenzhen, filed its lawsuits against ZTE in courts in France, Germany and Hungary. The patents relate to data card and LTE technologies, and in a statement Huawei said that ZTE had illegally used Huawei's trademark on some of ZTE's data cards. Huawei said in felt compelled to file the suits "in order to protect our innovations and registered intellectual property in Europe."

"Our objective is to stop the illegal use of Huawei's intellectual property and resolve this dispute through negotiation so that our technology is used in a lawful manner," Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer, said in the statement.

ZTE rejected Huawei's allegations and a company spokeswoman said ZTE was "astonished" that Huawei had taken legal action against it. "As a company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, ZTE respects and adheres to international intellectual property laws and regulations without reservation, and absolutely rejects that there has been any patent and trademark infringement," ZTE spokeswoman Akris Zhang told FierceWireless. "ZTE is always willing to negotiate on issues in good faith, but will definitely take vigorous legal action in situations like this to protect its interests and those of its customers worldwide."

Huawei has grown much faster than ZTE, and is now the second-largest network vendor behind Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). In 2010, Huawei had total revenue of around $27.3 billion, while ZTE's revenue clocked in at around $10.67 billion. Huawei has been flexing its muscles on the global technology stage, and said Wednesday it is aiming for $100 billion in annual sales in the next five to 10 years, up from a forecast of $31 billion for this year.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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