Huawei loses to ZTE in French patent suit

Huawwei was ordered to pay ZTE €100,000

Networking and telecom equipment vendor Huawei has lost a patent lawsuit it filed in France against ZTE over a USB connector patent, ZTE said on Friday.

The Paris court decided on Thursday to reject all of Huawei's claims over a patent on a technology that reduces the thickness of a USB device, ZTE said. Huawei's invention lacks novelty, the court ruled, according to a ZTE news release.

Huawei was ordered to pay ZTE and its French subsidiary €100,000 (US$128,000), ZTE said.

Huawei has lost other lawsuits involving the same patent, according to ZTE. In June 2012, the Patent Re-examination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office in China ruled Huawei's USB patent invalid, and In October 2012, the German Federal Patent Court issued a preliminary verdict to invalidate the same patent, ZTE added.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.

The two Chinese companies are involved in several patent disputes, with more than 10 patent infringement claims initiated by Huawei in Europe. Meanwhile, ZTE filed 18 lawsuits against Huawei in Europe and China over its LTE patent portfolio and core network and terminals technology.

Earlier this month, Huawei won a provisional German sales ban on ZTE 4G base stations when the District Court of Mannheim found that ZTE infringes on a patent that describes a way to ensure smooth handover of a signal in an LTE system, reducing the call drop rate.

In that case, Huawei could decide to immediately enforce the injunction if it posts a bond of €1 million (US$1.3 million). If Huawei does not do that, it has to wait for the appeal to be resolved in its favor before the ban can be enforced.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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