A Chinese court has ordered Samsung's unit in the country to pay Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. millions of dollars for patent infringement, Quanzhou Evening Newspaper said on Thursday.
The Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court ruled that South Korea's Samsung (China) Investment Co. Ltd. infringed on several technologies developed by the Chinese firm Huawei. Samsung was ordered to pay 80 million yuan (11.6 million U.S. dollars) in damages.
Shenzhen-based Huawei is one of the world's leading telecom equipment providers and one of China's top smartphone makers.
Huawei sued Samsung in May 2016 before Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court and the District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing its rival of infringement of patents for fourth-generation or 4G mobile technology, operating systems, and interface software.
These were followed by the suit before the Quanzhou court in June 2016. The Shenzhen and California courts have not ruled on the case.
In response, Samsung filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Huawei in the Beijing Intermediate People's Court in July 2016, asking for damages of 161 million yuan (23.3 million U.S. dollars).
CIMB analyst Lee Do-hoon said both firms want more than just the monetary awards.
“Huawei could be angling to boost its reputation by taking on the top smartphone player”, he said. “Samsung's suit might be a maneuver to force Huawei to settle its claims as soon as possible,” he added.
Chinese technology companies have often been on the receiving end of such lawsuits, so Huawei's litigation campaign marked something of a reversal of roles, reflecting its growing clout in the global telecommunications and smartphone markets.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva announced in March 2016 that Huawei Technologies topped the list of international patent filers for the second straight year in 2015. Huawei applied for 3,898 patents, 456 more than the previous year and more than Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, and HP.
“Our goal is to continue producing the high quality products, instead of pursuing the young as customers,” said Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, in March 2017.