Huawei mulls leading UK court patent decision

Updated 2017-06-15 09:25:38 China Daily

Smartphone and telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said it is evaluating the decision of a leading court in the United Kingdom over patent infringement that could mean its phones will not be allowed to be sold in the UK, as well as possible steps the company may take.

The High Court of England and Wales recently ruled that Huawei must pay licensing fees to use patents related to 4G technologies in its devices from Unwired Planet International, a US software company that owns thousands of patents obtained from Ericsson, otherwise it will face a sales ban in the UK.

The Shenzhen-based company said in a statement that it has received the decision of the court, but it does not believe that this decision will adversely affect its business operations either in the UK or in other countries.

It said that as it is one of the world's leading intellectual property rights owners, Huawei has a strong record of respecting the IPR of others, in addition to doing whatever is required to protect its own IPR assets.

"Huawei remains committed to providing its cutting-edge products and services to our customers without interruption," the statement said.

The lawsuit between Huawei and UPI has been going on for more than three years. In 2014, UPI sued Google Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei in the UK, claiming the three companies infringed six patents held by it, including five standard essential patents related to 2G, 3G and 4G.

Google was reconciled with UPI as early as 2015. In 2016, Samsung withdrew from the patent war with UPI after the two companies reached a settlement.

The UK market has been an important country in Huawei's global strategic layout. Huawei has continuously increased its investment in the UK since it established its first office in the UK in 2001.

"Huawei could choose to appeal the ruling, or reach a settlement with UPI. It is more likely that the settlement between the two sides will be reached," said Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance.

Wang said the lawsuits could often be seen in the patent wars among multinational companies, adding there are some companies which have no entity business, and survive through initiating patent infringement suits.

Li Junhui, professor of China University of Political Science and Law, said it is urgent that Huawei should conclude a patent licensing cooperation with UPI, otherwise it may suffer greater losses in the UK.

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