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


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.

Huawei vs. T-Mobile by Todd Bishop on Scribd

Via: GeekWire

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  • MisterSuperGod

    Does this mean we won’t be seeing anymore phones by Huawei for T-Mobile?
    Despite the typical criticisms, i rather like their phones…

    • vesra

      At the very least I guess we won’t be getting the use of band 12 on huawei phones. Enjoying my honor 5x but sure could use that band.

      • John Wentworth

        A phones without band 12 and VoLTE on band 12 is a non-starter for me at this point, there is simply too much band 12 coverage in my area.
        Using a phone in my area without band 12 would be like going back to using T-mobile’s network in early 2015, too much progress lost.

      • Kaulana1989

        You will get in once marshmallow 6.0 hits your device

        • JLV90

          lol Huawei updating a phone that doesn’t give them much profit

    • Rob

      No, it means that Huawei is suing T-Mobile for infringing on their 4G patents… It could be far worse news than crappy Chinese phones not being on T-Mobile…

  • HangmanSwingset

    Didn’t they just get busted for claiming a photo taken with a DSLR was from one of their phones?

    • Guest

      And what does that mean or what are you trying to say?

    • Ascertion

      Honestly this is just as bad as T-Mobile and the other carriers showing coverage in areas that simply don’t have coverage on their coverage maps.

  • NardVa

    Huawei will continue to makes phones that support T-mobile bands. Lawyers are gone be lawyers because they have to justify their paychecks. Similar to Apple suing Samsung while they continue to by parts from Samsung for their IPhones.

  • kgraham182

    This is good news for T-Mobile customers. I think we all had a feeling that TMO was charging too much or limited B12 VOLTE access to certain OEM. If Haiwei wins maybe more phones could be heading TMO way.

  • Caitlin Bestler

    What strikes me as suspicious is why Huawei needs an NDA agreement in order to tell T-Mobile exactly what the infringement is – the patent and its claims are public documents.

    A patent plaintiff should be required to state *exactly* how the respondent is violating which claims *before* taking them to court.

    • kgraham182

      There’s nothing suspicious here, you enter a NDA when fees aren’t set in stone. Similar to broadcast fees, ESPN charges each cable/satellite service different rates. You disclose it so no one think they’re getting ripped off.

      • Caitlin Bestler

        So Huawei needs to negotiate Fair Reasonable And Non-Discrimatory rates in *private*?

    • VernonDozier

      Bad legal counsel. The legal department gave business methodology advice similar to a patent Haliburton recieved in 2008. But, this *is* T-Mobile. Sigh.

  • Guset

    This a non issue. I’m more concern about KD going to Warriors instead of the Lakers.

  • Trevor Davenport

    Huawei files patent complaint. LOLZZZZ. Kirin 950 anyone?

  • JayCA

    Huawei has a lot of nerve. Just Google “T-Mobile sues Chinese telecom giant Huawei” and read about how Huawei has been accused of boosting T-Mobile’s tech and playing coy while doing it. Apparently Huawei is a shady company and has been put on notice before for their business practices.
    I personally think their phones are underpowered, and that they rip off other phone makers in a flagrant way for their designs.

  • Hiuawei can take their Chinese JUNK and HIT THE ROAD! GTFOH! I made a mistake and purchased the P8 Lite. It’s the single most error prone PIECE OF TRASH that I have ever owned! NEVER AGAIN! So Huawei, do yourself and favor and go order yourself some chineez noodles, because if you ever start selling that shyt in America, we will make sure you’ll be sipping on noodles every day! GO SELL YOUR TRASH IN CHINA!

    • Doc

      How do you feel now?

    • MisterSuperGod

      Well then, now that the ethnic slur’s are out of the way, can anyone tell me which phone model is shown in the picture for this topic?

  • Mike

    Haha, so I’m assuming this Chinese Huawei company likely built whatever patens they have on technology they stole from US companies like everything else the Chinese steal from the US.


  • Aaron Davis

    As far as I know, T-Mobile buys all of their equipment from companies like Ericsson.

    Shouldn’t Huawei be suing T-Mobile’s hardware vendor instead?

    • VernonDozier

      In terms of network hardware sales, Huawei is bigger than Ericsson and also Nokia.

  • ronjon400

    friend if mine has a nexus 6p on t-mobile…kinda ironic

  • Ron Burgundy

    this is frivolous lawsuit brought by a sorry loser company huawei, like all other Chinese copycat companies. it will be thrown out of court. so sad.

  • Ron Burgundy

    huawei is jealous Tmobile won’t carry their crappy phones.

    • Kevin

      You saying my Nexus 6P is crappy? How dare you.