Huawei sues Samsung over alleged patent infringement

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Huawei sues Samsung over alleged patent infringement

Chinese information and communications technology giant Huawei Technologies filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Samsung Electronics in both the United States and China over alleged patent infringement concerning 11 smartphone and mobile network technologies.

Ahn Seung-ho, senior vice president and head of the Intellectual Property Center at Samsung Electronics, said on Wednesday, “We may consider filing a counter-suit. We can’t sit still when they [Huawei] act like this.”

In a suit filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Huawei argues that Samsung has infringed on 11 patents related to the industry standard for fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) mobile communication and earned billions of dollars by selling products using the technologies. The Shenzhen-based Chinese rookie also filed a suit against Samsung in the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court.

“Huawei believes that industry players should work together to push the industry forward through open, joint innovation,” Ding Jianxing, president of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Rights Department, said in a statement. “While respecting others’ patents, we will also protect our own.”

Huawei offered to charge Samsung a fair and reasonable rate, but Samsung refuses to pay, according to Bloomberg.

The rising Chinese player’s underlying goal would be to gain access to Samsung’s core technology through a cross-licensing deal in return for settling the patent dispute, speculators say. Huawei has reached agreements to license its patents to many other global tech companies such as Apple, Qualcomm and Ericsson.

“We have a good history of licensing and cross-licensing of our peers,” William Plummer, a Huawei spokesman, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “We hope that Samsung will do the right thing.”

Huawei may also obtain the fringe benefit of gaining publicity in the global arena - the United States, its next most important market after China, in particular - by making noise out of the high-profile legal fight against the world’s top smartphone producer.

Currently the world’s third-largest smartphone producer, Huawei made a bold prediction in February it would surpass Apple as the second-biggest smartphone player in the world by 2019 and leapfrog Samsung by 2021.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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