Huawei Technologies filed a lawsuit against US telecoms operator Verizon over what it calls intellectual property rights infringements, the company announced on Thursday.
The Chinese telecoms giant alleged that twelve of its US patents have been infringed by technologies used by Verizon, adding that it had made several attempts to negotiate licencing fees since February 2019.
Huawei claims it had provided Verizon with a list of patents and evidence, but failed to agree on licencing terms with the US telecoms giant.
The lawsuits claim that Verison has been using Huawei's techologies in numerous products such as telecoms infrastructure, and that patented tech has been implented in several of the US telecom operator's apps, according to the South China Morning Post.
— Huawei (@Huawei) February 6, 2020
Chief legal officer for Huawei, Song Liuping, said in a statement: “Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development.
Song added that Huawei had "successfully renegotiated patent licence agreements with many companies", but that as not agreement could be reached, the Chinese tech firm had "no choice but to seek a legal remedy".
"Huawei 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 in its products and services," Song concluded.
But Verizon allegedly blasted the lawsuit as a "sneak attack on our coumpany and our nation", according to a statement as reported by CNBC reporter Arjun Kharpal.
The statement tweeted by Mr Kharpal read: "Huawei's lawsuit filed overnight, in the very early morning, is nothing more than a PR stunt. The lawsuit is a sneak attack on our company and our nation. The action lacks merit, and we look forward to vigorously defending our company and our nation.
— Arjun Kharpal (@ArjunKharpal) February 6, 2020
The news comes as Huawei battles campaigns from the Trump administration against its expansion in global 5G networks, with Washington repeatedly accusing Huawei equipment of being used to spy for the Chinese government. Both Huawei and Beijing have repeatedly and strongly denounced the allegations as false.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has also routinely accused Huawei of stealing intellectual property, but a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman rebuffed the accusations as a "toxic lie" in December last year.
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at the time that Chinese officials had "asked countless times" to explain the accusations, but that US officials had "dodged answering this question because it does not have an answer".
"As of today, not a single country, not a single company, and not a single individual are able to present evidence that Huawei is a security threat," Song concluded.
Despite pressures to curb Huawei's expansion into global markets, the UK government approved Huawei's role in building the nation's 5G networks, provoking anger from Washington.
But UK prime minister Boris Johnson told US officials that Britain would not use equipment that jeopardised national security, but would scrutinise Huawei's cooperation with national telecoms.