Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier ZTE has fired back against its rival Huawei Technologies by filing its own patent infringement lawsuit against the company.
The legal action comes just one day after Huawei launched lawsuits in Europe against ZTE. Huawei's lawsuits accuse ZTE of infringing on a series of patents relating to Huawei's mobile broadband data cards, along with the company's higher-speed fourth-generation LTE (Long Term Evolution) technologies.
ZTE's lawsuit, filed in China on Friday, alleges Huawei has infringed on patents dealing with ZTE's own fourth-generation LTE technologies. The company is asking Huawei to cease the violation and to pay compensation. ZTE will also take legal action outside China, it said.
Huawei and ZTE supply mobile operators with telecommunications equipment. Both are based in Shenzhen, China, but despite the size of the Chinese telecommunications market, the majority of their revenues comes from outside China -- about 54 percent for ZTE, and two-thirds for Huawei.
In 2010, Huawei's sales revenues reached 185.2 billion yuan (US$28.5 billion). ZTE's revenues reached 70.3 billion yuan ($10.8 billion).
ZTE was also targeted in a lawsuit earlier this month by another competitor. Ericsson has filed lawsuits in the U.K., Italy and Germany alleging that ZTE infringed on patents relating to several handset models. ZTE responded by filing its own patent lawsuit against Ericsson, accusing the company of infringing on patents involving telecommunications technologies.
Huawei could not be reached for immediate comment. The company said part of the objective with its own lawsuits was to "resolve this dispute through negotiation so that our technology is used in a lawful manner," according to a statement.