Huawei Technologies Files Patent Suit Against T-Mobile US

HONG KONG—Huawei Technologies Co. said it has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile US Inc., alleging the U.S. telecommunications carrier violated the Chinese company’s patents related to wireless networks.

In its complaint filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei said T-Mobile is using its patented technology without signing a licensing agreement.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman declined to comment.

The lawsuit is the latest indication of the Chinese company’s aggressive strategy to expand internationally by accumulating patents.

Huawei, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of telecom networking equipment such as base stations, has been filing an increasing number of patent applications overseas while pouring billions of dollars into research and development.

Last year, Huawei was the largest filer of applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty that makes it easier for companies to file patents in multiple countries, according to Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization.

Huawei is also the world’s third-largest seller of smartphones globally, behind Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

In a statement about its latest lawsuit against T-Mobile, Huawei said it owns patents essential to the operation of fourth-generation wireless network services. Groups that set the industry’s technical standards often require holders of essential patents that are part of the standards to offer to license those patents to other companies on a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” basis.

Huawei said it had offered to license its patents to T-Mobile but the two companies disagreed over whether the Chinese firm’s licensing offer was in line with the “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” basis.

This isn’t the first time Huawei and T-Mobile have been involved in a legal tussle. In 2014, T-Mobile filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Huawei alleging the Chinese company had taken its technology related to phone-testing robots. That suit is going to trial in the fall.

Huawei’s latest lawsuit comes after it sued Samsung in the U.S. and China in May, alleging the South Korean firm had violated its mobile patents. The move marked the first major legal challenge by a Chinese smartphone maker against a market leader. Samsung has said it would defend itself in the lawsuit.