The telecoms equipment company Huawei has sued its biggest Chinese rival, ZTE, for patent and trademark infringement.
On Thursday, Huawei said in a statement that ZTE was infringing on Huawei patents relating to data card and LTE technologies, and had "illegally used a Huawei-registered trademark on some of its data card products". The suits were filed on Thursday in Germany, France and Hungary.
Huawei has sent images to ZDNet UK, showing the alleged infringements. The trademark is for a logo showing compliance with the EU's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, while at least one of the patents appears to relate to the connection on a USB modem dongle, which rotates to make the dongle stick out less.
"Huawei was compelled to initiate this action in order to protect our innovations and registered intellectual property in Europe," the company's chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said in the statement. "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."
According to Huawei, ZTE failed to respond to cease-and-desist letters regarding the alleged infringements, and had also refused to enter into cross-patent licensing negotiations with Huawei.
ZTE responded to the suits immediately, saying it 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," the company said. "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."