Huawei lawsuit against Verizon heads to trial in Texas

A lawsuit filed by Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd against Verizon Communications (VZ.N) alleging patent infringement is set to begin jury selection on Wednesday.

In February 2020, Huawei (HWT.UL) sued Verizon in two U.S. District courts in Texas, alleging the company used a dozen Huawei patents without authorization in areas such as computer networking, download security, and video communications, seeking an unspecified amount of compensation and royalty payments.

Verizon last year called the lawsuits “nothing more than a PR stunt” and “a sneak attack on our company and the entire tech ecosystem” and filed counterclaims against Huawei, claiming the Chinese company violated Verizon patents.

Huawei said in 2020 that it “is 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.” Huawei declined comment Tuesday.

Huawei has been a flashpoint in the U.S.-China relationship for several years. The United States placed the company on an economic blacklist in 2019 over what it said were national security concerns.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Huawei’s suit filed in the Eastern District of Texas that involves a small number of patents related to optical transport networks, while the other Texas lawsuit, related to wireless patents, is set for trial in October. The jury selection could be delayed by a day or two depending on the status of an unrelated case.

Huawei told Verizon it should pay licensing fees for use of more than 230 Huawei patents and was seeking more than $1 billion.