Huawei wins first round in ZTE fight

Michael Carroll
13 May 2011

ZTE has accused rival Huawei of using Europe’s legal system as a means of competitive bartering, after three courts agreed to block imports of ZTE products into the region.

The Chinese vendor hit out after courts in Germany, France and Hungary issued a temporary injunction on data card shipments Huawei claims infringes its trademark, stating that Huawei has no right to the trademark because it refers to a European environmental certificate.

“At ZTE, we believe any means beyond technology, marketing, legal litigation should not be used as competition tactics,” a statement revealed. “ZTE’s determination to explore the European market will not be impeded by this or any such action.”

Huawei’s global communications head Ross Gan said the decision “will protect our innovation and intellectual property,” however ZTE countered by pointing out the injunction is only temporary, and that it stopped using the disputed trademark before Huawei gained European approval.

The specific dates are key to ZTE’s argument, with the firm stating it ceased using the trademark in July 2009, four months before Huawei applied for the right to use the mark, and almost a year before approval was granted.

“Obviously, Huawei intended to use the trademark right that it acquired on 27th May 2010 to sue ZTE for using the logo before 14th July, 2009 of the act. This is beyond normal technology, marketing and legal litigation.”

Huawei launched legal action against ZTE late April in a bid to force it to negotiate over the use of patents and trademarks covering LTE technology and data cards.

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