Huawei’s Patent Wars – A mixed week

Failure in the UK – Unwired Planet v Huawei Technologies [2017] EWHC 711 (Pat)

On 5 April 2017, the High Court of England and Wales handed down a landmark judgment against Huawei in its patent battle against Unwired Planet in which two of the latter’s patents were infringed by the former.

The case concerned a worldwide FRAND license between the technology giants, where Huawei refused to agree to the royalties Unwired Planet offered. In accordance with the judgement of Mr Justice Birss, Huawei must therefore pay Unwired Planet the licensing fee for the use of Unwired Planets Intellectual Property used in Huawei’s 4G handsets. If Huawei fail to do so, the Court has the power to allow an injunction preventing Huawei selling the affected mobile handsets in the UK.


Success in China, Quanzhou – Huawei Technologies v Samsung Technologies

However, in China’s Quanzhou Intermediate Peoples Court, Huawei were awarded one of the highest damages awards in the country. Huawei were awarded damages of 80 million Yuan (£9.3 million) from its South Korean technology rival Samsung.

This award is in relation to proceedings Huawei brought against Samsung in May 2016 for infringement of patents concerning: Cellular Communications and Software Inventions. The patents owned by Huawei were violated having been used in over 20 of Samsung’s smartphone and tablet products.

This judgement resulted in Huawei’s first victory over Samsung in its history of challenges over intellectual property.

Huawei’s Intellectual Property Chief Ding Jianxing replied to the judgement saying “Huawei believes that respecting and protecting the intellectual property of others enables all companies to make a return on our research and development investments. We maintain that respect for intellectual property promotes innovation and healthy, sustained growth in the industry.”

This may not be the end of the story as Samsung in July 2016, retaliated bringing a counter-claim against Huawei in relation to a further six alleged patent infringements.

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