Huawei wins patent battle over Samsung 4G tech

Huawei wins patent battle over Samsung 4G tech

Chinese technology giants Huawei have scored the first victory in a patent-infringement battle with Korean rivals Samsung.

The Quangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China has ruled that Samsung must pay 80 million yuan (just over £9 million) in damages to Huawei for the “unlicensed use of fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software in Samsung phones”.

Huawei first took action in May 2016 when they filed a legal challenge against Samsung in both China and California.

The legal action cited infringement on more than 10 of their patents, stating that over 20 models of Samsung device use Huawei technology without permission.

Samsung were quick to counter sue via a court in Beijing, stating that Huawei Honor and Mate 8 handsets employ Samsung-patented technology.

Huawei, who are the world’s largest manufacturer of telecom equipment, have Samsung in their sights as they strive to become the predominant mobile phone company.

The Shenzhen outfit are already number one when it comes to filing patents, with some 3898 patents applied for across their telecommunications and enterprise networking businesses.

Huawei’s early victory in their patent battle with Samsung may be tempered by the news that they may be banned from selling its products in the UK unless it makes payments to US company, Unwired Planet.

A High Court ruling found that the Chinese company had infringed on 4G patents which are owned by Unwired Planet despite being developed by Ericsson.

Unwired Planet, based in Nevada, also have legal cases open against Samsung, Apple and Google.

Despite developing none of their own 4G technology, the firm have become known as ‘patent trolls’ after they purchased over 2,000 patents from Ericsson and then moved to sue any company which they claimed to be using similar technology.

Unwired Planet base the majority of their complaints on Ericsson’s early patents being ‘foundational’ to modern 4G technology.

Huawei had originally argued that the figure asked by Unwired Planet was excessive, the High Court agreed and requested that they pay fine lower than the amount demanded by the patent holders.

Patent and intellectual property infringements are on track to be even more prominent as Huawei ramps up its challenge on Samsung and Apple.

Samsung are enjoying a revival in fortunes of late with the release of the S8 Plus and Galaxy 8 making up for its Note 7 disaster last year.


Tom is a tech journalist and Editor at
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