It's not only Apple and Samsung that are battling each other in courts across continents over copyright infringements. Two major Chinese tech giants are also engaged in lawsuits over the LTE and terminal patents outside Asia.
On Tuesday, Huawei lost in a court case in Mannheim, Germany, against ZTE over a key derivation function patent which is used to generate security keys in 4G wireless LTE network.
However, the same court favoured Huawei's charge that ZTE breached its LTE terminal patents. It banned ZTE from selling in Germany 4G stations with the security feature, but ZTE insisted the court ruling would not affect the company's business operations in different parts of the world, including in Germany.
But with the court decision, which granted Huawei only a provisional injunction against the sales of LTE base states by ZTE in Germany, not being final and self-executory, Huawei must pay a bond of $1.3 million in the event that the decision is reversed on a planned appeal by ZTE.
If Huawei pays the bond, ZTE would pay penalties for every violation of the patent breach. ZTE claims to own 48,000 patents as of the end of 2012.
Huawei, with more than 30,000 employees and the second-largest telecom company in China, has several other patent lawsuits against ZTE in Germany, Hungary and France.
ZTE, the leading manufacturer of telecom equipment in China, has 18 charges against Huawei in European and Chinese courts over the intellectual property rights portfolio for LTE infrastructure, core networks and terminals.
The Europe Patent Bureau has declared two of the five pending lawsuits in Germany as invalid, while another rotator data card patent lawsuit in France was also declared invalid in China and Germany.
ZTE said it will pursue the other lawsuits and invalidation claims.
The two Chinese firms are also respondents in an InterDigital lawsuit filed with the International Trade Commission in Washington in January 2013 over technology related to the latest mobile-phone standards.