Hurray for Huawei: Huawei enters a licensing agreement with MPEG LA

Huawei has had a troubling start to the year with the US Justice Department accusing the technology company of bank fraud, obstruction and theft of technology. Nevertheless, the technology giant seems to have solved one of its many problems by entering into a licensing agreement with the patent pool licensing company MPEG LA (the world’s leading packager and provider of one-stop licences for standards and other technology platforms). The agreement resolves legal disputes that relate to patent enforcement.

Previously, a German Court had ruled that Huawei had infringed the patents of other AVC licence holders. Consequently, Huawei had to decide between not being able to sell the infringing mobile phones in Germany, or become a party to an AVC licensing agreement with MPEG LA. Â


In November 2018, a District Judge in Düsseldorf, Germany found that Huawei had infringed the patents of two patent holders of an AVC licence by using their technologies in its mobile phones and tablets.

The German court granted an injunction in favour of the two patent holders. The injunction against Huawei required it to recall all its infringing mobile phones, and to destroy those in the hands of third parties.

MPEG LA’s has a patent portfolio covering a digital coding standard which is used in computer software, mobile phones, media players and other electronic devices. As a result, when MPEG LA offered Huawei another opportunity to licence the AVC technology needed to sell its devices in Germany, it decided to take the patent pool company’s offer.

Significance of the judgment

Arguably, the District judge understood the importance of protecting intellectual property rights in the technology sector, as it is the only way to ensure that companies are operating on a fair and level field. The MPEG LA AVC licence offers everyone easy and affordable access to the AVC technology. Thus, there is enough technology available for everyone.

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