Samsung loses 10 patent infringement cases against Huawei since 2016

Updated 2017-10-12 11:02:53 Global Times

South Korea-based electronics manufacturer Samsung has lost 10 of the 15 patent infringement cases it filed in China against Huawei out of the court rulings announced since 2016, media reports said on Wednesday.

Analysts said that this outcome won't have a major impact on Samsung's business in China, but it also reflects domestic handset producers' improving research and innovation ability, which may further put pressure on traditional technology giants.

On September 30, China's State Intellectual Property Office announced the invalidation of Samsung's five patents among the eight cases that Samsung launched against Huawei for alleged intellectual property violations since September 2016, according to a statement on the office's website.

Only two of the eight patents involved in the filings were effective, with the one remaining patent also partly invalidated, according to the statement.

Huawei and Samsung have been embroiled in an intensifying patent battle in recent years.

Since 2016, Samsung has 16 similar lawsuits against Huawei for intellectual property infringement. The South Korean electronics giant has lost 10 cases so far, with one patent still waiting for court judgment, news website ifeng.com reported on Wednesday. That translates to a patent invalidation rate of 62.5 percent, the report noted.

The disputed technology patents involve graphic displays, mobile phone cameras, screen controls and some basic communication infrastructure technologies, said the report.

Huawei declined to comment when contacted by the Global Times on Wednesday.

Wang Yanhui, head of the Shanghai-based Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the patent ruling is not likely to have any impact on Samsung's sales in the Chinese market, as the 10 invalidated patents are just "a drop in the bucket" of Samsung's patents pool.

Also, "the electronic equipment maker can either seek to overturn the result through an administrative lawsuit, or pay royalties to use the patents," Wang said, noting that patent lawsuits have been utilized by electronics manufacturers as a weapon against competitors in recent years.

But for domestic electronic equipment suppliers like Huawei, the win is "symbolic," shedding light on the increasing competiveness of domestic technologies, Wang said.

In 2016, telecom equipment supplier ZTE Corp filed 4,123 applications for patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, ranking first in patent applications, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. That was followed by Huawei with 3,692 patent applications.

The rise of domestic smartphone makers may pressure traditional technology giants such as Samsung and Apple, which have already experienced slumping sales in China, Wang added.

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