Huawei files complaint against T-Mobile over 4G patent licensing

August 11, 2016


Today is a good day for T-Mobile customers because they’re getting free T-Mobile Tuesdays gifts. For T-Mobile itself, though, this Tuesday isn’t quite as nice.

T-Mobile has been hit with a complaint from Huawei. The company alleges that T-Mobile has been using patents related to 4G wireless networking while refusing Huawei’s attempts to license the patents to T-Mobile on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis.

In its complaint, Huawei claims that it reached out to T-Mobile on June 6, 2014, to talk about licensing and its 4G patents and that it wanted to enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with T-Mo for the discussions. T-Mo refused, Huawei says, and after Huawei again suggested the two companies enter into an NDA, the company says that T-Mo refused once again.

Fast-forward to January 2016 and Huawei filed patent infringement actions against T-Mobile and again said that it wanted to get into patent licensing talks. T-Mobile then said that it’d enter into an NDA, and the two companies are said to have then gone back and forth on the details of the “mutually-acceptable NDA” and the licensing offer. Huawei goes on to say that T-Mobile rejected Huawei’s FRAND patent licensing offer and claimed that Huawei violated its commitment that it would license its patent on FRAND terms.

Finally, in June, Huawei says that T-Mobile agreed to an NDA but then refused to meet face-to-face with Huawei for discussions. Huawei alleges that it sent T-Mobile examples of how it’d infringed on Huawei’s patents and offered to meet face-to-face. T-Mobile has purportedly not responded to Huawei’s offer.

Huawei wants the court to rule that it has met its FRAND commitment in offering licensing terms to T-Mobile and declare T-Mo an unwilling licensee.

T-Mobile hasn’t issued an official statement on the lawsuit. Huawei claims that “T-Mobile cannot operate its core wireless network without the use of Huawei’s 4G Wireless Network Essential Patents,” though, so it’ll be interesting to see how T-Mo responds to Huawei’s complaint. While we wait for T-Mobile’s answer, you can read Huawei’s full complaint below.

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