The competition in the mobile industry can be summed up in one word, FIERCE! As a result, brands have resorted to file their designs for patents. This results in litigation for those who borrow the brand’s technology without permission. Recently, the world’s no. 1, Samsung, and no. 3, Huawei went head to head in a Patent showdown.
|Huawei vs Samsung patent wars|
In May 2016, Huawei sued Samsung for infringing 11 of its patents on its 4G cellular-communication technology, its user interface software and its operating systems in Shenzhen and in California, which are huge markets for the Korean giant. The Chinese company stated that Samsung has earned billions of dollars by selling products with Huawei’s patented technology.
Ding Jianxing, the president for intellectual property rights of Huawei stated: ““Thus far, we have signed cross-licensing agreements with dozens of our competitors. We hope Samsung will respect Huawei’s R&D investment and patents, stop infringing our patents and get the necessary license from Huawei, and work together with Huawei to jointly drive the industry forward.”
Months later in July, Samsung countersued Huawei for infringing 6 of their patents claiming and are demanding 161 million Yuan or 24.14 million US Dollars in damages along with the immediate cease of production and sales of select Huawei products.
Samsung mentioned in a statement, “Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property.” To which Huawei’s spokesperson responded that they haven’t received a formal complaint regarding the matter. However, “we will review any documentation and defend ourselves as appropriate when we do.”
This resulted in increased Research and Development spending for their offerings that cater to enterprise and other consumer groups. Huawei for example, spent 9 Billion US Dollars in R&D for its consumer unit alone. This is more than a billion more than Apple spends yearly. The increase in patent infringement cautionary actions has lead companies to keep a closer look at innovating new technology and new solutions outside the consumer group to have the advantage in intellectual property claims.