It is a well-known fact that large tech companies usually throw lawsuits at each other but eventually settle them out of court, saving billions of dollars in the process. Popular instances have been an agreement between Apple and Samsung to drop patent infringement lawsuits against each other as well as the one between Microsoft and Google who agreed to drop as many as 20 patent lawsuits against each other outside of the U.S. last year. We suspect the current litigation battle between Huawei and Samsung may end up the same way.
Apple's chip patent infringement lawsuit: For a change, Apple is at the receiving end
As per Huawei, Samsung has infringed on several of its patents including those on 4G cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software. While not exactly asking the court to put on ban on Samsung's products, Huawei has asked to be reasonably compensated by Samsung for the alleged infringements. If Huawei's allegations are upheld, the resulting compensation to be paid by Samsung could go up to billions of dollars.
“We hope Samsung will … stop infringing our patents and get the necessary license from Huawei, and work together with Huawei to jointly drive the industry forward,” said Ding Jianxing, president of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Rights Department. Back in 2014, Huawei settled a patent infringement lawsuit against itself worth billions of dollars with a consortium named the Rockstar. The Rockstar consortium included the likes of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson and they alleged that Google and other Android OEMs including Huawei infringed on networking and interface patents worth $4.5 billion.
Apple sued by Ericsson over patent infringements
On its part, Samsung hasn't admitted that it infringed on almost a dozen patents owned by Huawei. Ahn Seong-ho, the head of Samsung’s IPR division, said that Samsung will respond to Huawei's lawsuits with several countermeasures, including a lawsuit of its own. However, he did not elaborate on what the lawsuit will be about.
The lawsuit marks a turnaround for Chinese phone makers like Huawei who have been maligned over the last few years for allegedly stealing patented technologies. Not only are Chinese phone makers winning new patents nowadays, they are also investing on new technologies to reduce their dependence on western suppliers. A major victory for Chinese phone makers was achieved when Huawei started using its own Kirin processors as against Qualcomm's more expensive chips. As per reports, Xiaomi is also developing its own smartphone chip named Rifle which will come with similar features and functionalities as Snapdragon, Exynos and Kirin processors.