Chinese technology titan Huawei filed suit in the United States and China against Samsung, claiming its South Korean rival has infringed on patents on wireless connectivity for mobile devices.
In these lawsuits, Huawei seeks compensation for Samsung’s infringement of Huawei’s intellectual property, including valuable patents relating to cellular communications technology and software used by Samsung's mobile phones.
The suit opens up a legal battle over wireless patents for 4G networks between two of the largest global technology firms.
"Our very strong preference is to resolve disputes on licensing through negotiations," William Plummer, Huawei's US-based vice president for external affairs.
"It is unfortunate when we have to take this route but when you are the leader in the industry in making investments to develop these technologies, protecting your investments is very important."
Plummer said Huawei had reached agreements to license its patents to many other global tech firms including Apple, Qualcomm and Ericsson.
Huawei is well behind Samsung as a maker of mobile devices, but the Chinese firm has a large networking business and its research arm last year spent over $9 billion.
"As a major holder of standard essential patents relating to cellular networks, Huawei is committed to licensing these patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, but it believes that it is entitled to reasonable compensation from firms that use its technology without such a license," said a statement released by the company.
The California suit asks for unspecified damaged "to compensate Huawei for the patent infringement that has occurred, together with interest and costs," as well as royalties after the case is over, if it prevails.
Huawei’s substantial investment in R&D over the years has resulted in a large number of high-value patents. According to the statistics published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in 2015 Huawei topped the list of international patent filers for the second consecutive year with 3,898 published PCT applications, or an additional 456 applications over the previous year. As of December 31, 2015, Huawei has been granted 50,377 patents around the world. These patents relate to LTE, operating systems, and user interface, which are highly valuable to smartphones.