Samsung faces first IPR challenge from Huawei

Samsung vowed to defend itself after Huawei filed its first patent lawsuits against the South Korean vendor covering alleged infringements in technologies used in Samsung mobile phones.

The South Korean vendor told Reuters that it would take "appropriate action" in reaction to the patent infringement lawsuits, which Huawei has filed at courts in the U.S. and China, the news agency reported.

Huawei sought compensation for alleged infringements of its 4G technology, operating system, and user interface software, Reuters reported. Ding Jianxing, president of Huawei's Intellectual Property Rights Department, issued a statement calling for Samsung to agree a licensing deal for the technologies and to work with Huawei moving forward, the news agency added.

The Chinese vendor issued the lawsuits after licensing talks with Samsung broke down, Bloomberg reported. While Huawei claims it offered to license its IPR at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) rates, it says Samsung turned it down, the news agency explained.

Huawei is keen to settle its dispute with Samsung out of court, in much the same way that Ericsson did when it encountered problems in terms of agreeing a licensing deal with Samsung, Bloomberg added.

While patent lawsuits between leading technology companies are nothing new, Reuters noted that this is one of the first cases where a Chinese company has issued such a suit rather than being on the receiving end.

The Financial Times reported that Huawei has won previous battles over its patents, but that this case is the first time it has gone head to head with Samsung, the world's largest smartphone vendor.

Huawei has quickly built up its portfolio of patents to bridge the gap to established rivals including Ericsson and Nokia, which had a head-start in terms of building their portfolios due to being established earlier than the Chinese company.

The Financial Times reported that Huawei invested 15 per cent of its annual revenue into R&D in 2015, and that the vendor is particularly competitive in terms of IP covering more recent technologies and applications, particularly in the smartphone market.

Huawei filed the most international patents of any company for the second year in a row in 2015, the FT said citing World Intellectual Property Organisation information.

For more:
- see this Reuters report
- read this Bloomberg article
- view this Financial Times report

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