back to article ZTE can't buy chips from America – but can still get sued for patent infringement in the US

Chinese phone maker ZTE will have to face a patent infringement lawsuit in the US, despite its handsets being effectively barred from sale in America. On Wednesday a Northern Texas US District Court judge tossed the Chinese company's motion to dismiss a patent infringement case filed by a Texas-based mobile software developer …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, let's suppose for second

    Let's suppose that the non-whatever entity wins. If it is to try to claim anything, it will end up doing business with ZTE while ZTE is still under sanctions. Can ZTE complain that the aforementioned entity is sanction busting?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: So, let's suppose for second

      In the topsy-turvy land that America has become, anything is possible.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: So, let's suppose for second

        It's a little thing we like to call... Freedom.

        Freedom to be screwed coming and going, in one orfice and out the other.

  2. Roland6 Silver badge

    "ZTE is not allowed to do business with US companies"

    So that means ZTE cannot sign any patent licencing deals or pay royalties to any US company, as such matters are part and parcel of "doing business"...

  3. Julian Garrett

    Somehow I don't think the letter ZTE will represent anything more than how not to do business.

  4. John Savard Silver badge

    Wait a Moment

    ZTE had been doing business in Texas, and in the United States, in the past, selling smartphones which may have violated the patents in question, so why should its subsequent fate protect it from lawsuits?

    Of course, it could simply ignore any settlement that isn't approved by courts of a jurisdiction in which it is still doing business, unless it has plans of returning to the United States someday.

  5. DownUndaRob

    Do these patent title strike you as vague, or bleedingly obvious

    These patent titles seem so incredibly vague that the could mean anything,

    Telling someone half their password in email and the other half by phone could be a breach of US Patent 9,325,600

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Do these patent title strike you as vague, or bleedingly obvious

      It's not so much the titles as the complaint: "... use parts of all seven patents ..."

      "parts" has a rather wide interpretation - at what point does "use of parts" become infringement...

  6. Chronos Silver badge

    a Northern Texas US District Court

    Who'd have thunk?

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This whole thing with ZTE just smells bad... on both sides. They steal and if DownUndaRob is right, then they're getting hit by a patent troll.

    As a solution, maybe ZTE needs to "close up it's doors", declare themselves bankrupt and in a week or two start again under a new name. Seems to be the way it's done here in the States.

  8. ukgnome Silver badge

    U S NAY

    I am surprised that anyone wants to do business with an isolationist country.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: U S NAY

      It's still the richest country in the world, for now anyway. I think Trump's relection slogan is going to be make America rich again.

      We need a shoulder shrug or meh icon.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: U S NAY

        I know there's the straight mouth icon between the happy and unhappy emoticons but it just isn't meh'y enough for me.

      2. Paul Smith

        Re: U S NAY

        "It's still the richest country in the world" - No, it is not.

        It is behind China and the EU on most lists including the CIA factbook.

        1. ArrZarr Silver badge

          Re: U S NAY

          Sure, but the EU isn't a country.

          1. RRJ

            Re: U S NAY

            But thinks it is.. that's the problem

        2. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: U S NAY


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: U S NAY

      Domestic laws that apply globally, isolationist policies that damage profit margins, courts which are openly hostile to foreign-owned IP. At what point does it become more of a pain to do business in the US than it's worth?

  9. Dave 15 Silver badge

    If I didnt think...

    If I didnt think the patents were likely to be so obvious, so wide ranging and so completely pathetic to be a nonsense, and if I didnt know that the likes of Microsoft and Google regularly and with impunity violated patents held by others I would think this might be a reasonable thing to be taken to court. The US is busy trying to fund its entire budget deficit by fining everyone and anyone for anything, its actually time the rest of the world ignored this nation and traded with anyone else but them, just ignore them and leave them alone in the corner

    1. Tom -1

      Re: If I didnt think...

      Sadly, Dave 15, the UK government is set on abandoning business with the EU (no-deal hard Brexit is their clear intention) and setting up a trade treaty with the USA where the terms will inevitably be interoreted by Ameican courts to mean whatever is most beneficial to American companies regardless of what the actual wording of the treaty (which will in anycase have beeen forced as far as possible by the American negotiators towards giving American companies the rights to do what they like and British companies no rights at all, to allow the US administration to charge what tariffs they like and oblige British government never to increase tariffs on American exports, to oblige british suppliers to match American safety regulations and forbid Britain to enforce British safety regulations on gods supplied to British companiesor consumers by American companies.

      So Britain will not be part of any "rest off the world" that ignores the USA and leaves them alone in their corner. Personally I find that very sad.

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