Huawei wins case vs Samsung

By Fan Feifei | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-07 06:58

South Korean major yet to decide if it would appeal the ruling on patents

A Chinese court has ruled Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Chinese subsidiaries must pay 80 million yuan ($11.6 million) to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for patent infringement.

The court ruling marks the Chinese smartphone maker's first victory in safeguarding its intellectual property in the local market.

Huawei filed a lawsuit against Samsung's two units in China, one in Huizhou in Guangdong province and the other in Tianjin, as well as Samsung China Investment Co Ltd and two Fujian-based electronics companies, claiming that more than 20 models of Samsung smartphones and tablet products, including the flagship Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, have infringed its patents.

The Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court in Fujian has ordered the five companies to stop infringing patents and asked the three subsidiaries of Samsung to compensate for the loss.

Huawei said it fosters industrial innovation and healthy development of the industry by respecting and protecting intellectual property.

Samsung declined to comment on whether it will appeal the ruling.

The judgment is the first of a series of lawsuits filed by the Chinese tech giant against Samsung.

In May 2016, Huawei filed lawsuits against Samsung in Shenzhen and California for patent infringements.

Huawei said several of its cellular communications technology and software inventions have been used in Samsung smartphones without permission.

Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, said Huawei is a patent giant in the global market, and has been planning to collect copyright fees from domestic and foreign telecom companies.

Huawei has signed reciprocal patent agreement with Apple Inc in 2015.

"The smartphone patents were dominated by foreign telecom firms including Qualcomm Inc, Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj in the past, and China has no right of speech in this sector. Huawei, as a rising and top-ranking Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker, has played a bigger role in standards setting, especially with 5G, and boasted more patents in recent years," said Wang.

The patent wars among tech giants are common. Apple and Samsung have been battling over patents since 2011. Both companies have said that the other has violated its patents related to mobile technology and design.

Wang said there is no doubt Huawei's stance will set an example for its rivals, and highlight the significance of innovation and patents.

Ma Si contributed to this story.

(China Daily USA 04/07/2017 page18)

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