Huawei, the world’s third biggest smartphone manufacturer, tells Samsung, the biggest, that enough is enough in patent dispute
Huawei is suing Samsung in China and the US, seeking compensation for the Korean manufacturer’s alleged infringement of the Shenzhen-based firm’s mobile parents.
Lawsuits filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California and Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court claim Samsung’s smartphones use Huawei’s cellular communications technology and software without a valid licence.
Some of the intellectual property subject to standard essential patents (SEPs), meaning it is required to offer them under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND).
Huawei Samsung lawsuit
Huawei says it is absolutely committed to these principles, but says that it is only fair that it is compensated given it spends 15 percent of its annual revenue, or CNY 59.6 billion (£6.2bn), on research and development.
As of December 31, 2015, Huawei had been granted more than 50,000 patents around the world, and last year agreed a cross-licence arrangement with Ericsson for standard essential patents for wireless communications.
“While respecting others’ patents, we will also protect our own. We have seen a large number of patent cross-licensing agreements signed in the industry to ensure legitimate use of technologies, as this is the basis for the healthy development of the smartphone industry,” said Ding Jianxing, President of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Rights Department.
“We have seen a large number of patent cross-licensing agreements signed in the industry to ensure legitimate use of technologies, as this is the basis for the healthy development of the smartphone industry. With such a belief, we have actively negotiated with other patent holders in the industry for cross-licensing over the years. Thus far, we have signed cross-licensing agreements with dozens of our competitors.”
It is unclear whether the lawsuits will affect the availability of Samsung’s products in the two countries. TechWeekEurope has contacted Samsung for comment.
Samsung had been involved in a seemingly never-ending legal battle with Apple over design patents, while both Samsung and Huawei have been targeted by Microsoft’s pursuit of Android manufacturers over alleged patent infringement.
Huawei is now the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer, while Samsung is the biggest, meaning the stakes are significant.
“We hope Samsung will respect Huawei’s R&D investment and patents, stop infringing our patents and get the necessary license from Huawei, and work together with Huawei to jointly drive the industry forward,” added Jianxing.
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