Huawei Files InterDigital Patent Complaint With EC

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Chinese tech firm accuses InterDigital of overcharging and breaching FRAND licensing practices for its 3G patents

Chinese manufacturer Huawei has filed a complaint with the European Commission (EC) against wireless technology developer InterDigital, accusing it of abusing its position with regards to its 3G-essential patents.

Huawei said that it had been seeking an agreement with InterDigital over fees for its patents, but said there was “no foreseeable resolution” in sight due to the “exploitative fees” the American firm was demanding, a claim which InterDigital disputes.

Disputed allegations

“As a non-practicing entity, InterDigital is seeking to leverage its declared 3G standard essential patents to force Huawei to conclude a discriminatory, unfair and exploitative licence,” said Huawei in a statement. “In both the terms and scope, InterDigital’s demand manifestly breaches the policies of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute calling for fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing practices by technology patent holders, and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Commission.”

InterDigital said it has not seen the complaint, but was adamant that it was not guilty of any wrongdoing, regardless of its contents.

“InterDigital has over 200 engineers in four research and development facilities, and participates with engineers from a broad range of industry leaders in developing and testing innovative technologies that become wireless standards,” commented Lawrence Shay, president of InterDigital’s patent holding subsidiaries. “We have in the past licensed, and continue to license, technologies on the terms set forth in our commitments to those standards bodies.

“Our long and successful track record of licensing more than 50 companies throughout the mobile industry is proof of that commitment, and of our ability to reach mutually agreeable terms for such licences,” he added.

Huawei, which recently signed a five year managed services deal with O2, was the subject of patent violation allegations last November, when Microsoft sought royalties for the alleged use of its patents in Huawei’s handsets.

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