Huawei wins German sales ban on 4G ZTE base stations

ZTE will appeal the ruling and said it was confident that the court decision won't affect any ZTE business operations

By Loek Essers, IDG News Service |  IT Management

Networking and telecom equipment vendor Huawei has won a provisional injunction against sales of 4G base stations by competitor ZTE in Germany.

The District Court of Mannheim found on Friday that ZTE infringes on a Huawei patent entitled "key derivation," court spokesman Joachim Bock said in an email Monday. The infringed patent describes a way to ensure smooth handover of a signal in an LTE system, reducing the call drop rate.

The ruling that ZTE infringes on the patent with the 4G base stations it sells in Germany "is not final and it is not self-executing. But it is provisionally enforceable for Huawei," Bock said. If it wants to immediately enforce the injunction, Huawei will have to pay a bond of ¬1 million (US$1.3 million), he added.

If Huawei decides to enforce the injunction, ZTE would have to pay fines of up to ¬250,000 for every violation, according to Bock.

"Huawei welcomes the decision made by the Mannheim Regional Court," said a Huawei spokesman in an email on Monday. He couldn't immediately say whether Huawei was planning to enforce the injunction.

ZTE said it would appeal the court's decision in a statement issued on Monday. "ZTE is confident that the ZTE product involved in the lawsuit doesn't infringe Huawei's patent rights," the company said.

Huawei has launched several other patent lawsuits against ZTE in Germany, France and Hungary, ZTE said, adding that it had "prepared solutions" in those cases.

ZTE said it has filed 18 lawsuits against Huawei in Europe and China over its LTE patent portfolio and core network and terminals technology. ZTE will take any legal means necessary to prevent infringements on its patent rights, including sales bans, it said in the statement.

(With reporting by Michael Kan in Beijing.)

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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