It is revealed that Huawei has been making a thorough preparation since 2013 to fight against Samsung Electronics regarding patents.
Not only did Huawei purchased patents from global IT businesses such as Sharp, IBM, NCR and others, but it also bought patents from Chinese businesses to expand its portfolio of patents for potential lawsuits against Samsung Electronics. As Huawei has become the first Chinese business to pursue lawsuits against South Korean businesses regarding patents, South Korean industries are worried that Chinese businesses might come after them from all directions.
According to an analysis of Huawei’s portfolio of patents done by Electronic News and IP Nomics on the 2nd, it was seen that Huawei bought 114 patents from other businesses in 2013. Huawei, which only purchased 1 patent from a foreign business in 2006, only purchased total of 33 patents until 2012. In 2013, it purchased many patents from global businesses such as Sharp, IBM, NCR and others and other Chinese businesses . Number of patents that Huawei bought in 2013 is three times more than the number of patents that it purchased from 2006 to 2012.
2013 is the year when Huawei was trying to negotiate with Samsung Electronics regarding patents. Before Samsung Electronics filed a lawsuit last month, Huawei was trying to sign a license contract regarding loyalty with Samsung Electronics saying Samsung Electronics violated its patents, but it eventually failed. “Huawei purchased necessary patents to prepare for a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics and is planning to use them as its weapons.” said a representative of an industry. “It shows that Huawei has been preparing in many ways to file a lawsuit regarding patents.”
Out of 11 Huawei’s patents, in which Huawei proclaims that they were violated by Samsung Electronics, ‘synchronizing method of conditional uplink time from a mobile telecommunication device (U.S. patent number: 8885583)’ is one of 62 patents that Huawei purchased from Sharp in 2013. Experts believe that the fact that patents that were purchased are being used in a lawsuit indicates that Huawei was preparing for this lawsuit since many years ago.
“If it is not regarding NPE (Non Practicing Entities), most of lawsuits regarding violation of patents involves patents that originally belonged to a certain business.” said Kang Min-soo who is a patent attorney for PatentPia. “A fact that Huawei has used patents that it purchased from other businesses indicates that Huawei purchased them previously for possible lawsuits.”
Due to this reason, industries are worried that Huawei will continue to file lawsuits by continuously increasing number of patents that it buys from other businesses. Although it seemed like Huawei was slowing down on purchasing patents in 2014 as it only purchased 25 patents, it increased number of patents by purchasing another 107 patents in 2015. It is also expanding businesses that it purchases patents from as it purchased patents from other global businesses. So far Huawei purchased 51 patents in this year. Industries estimate that Huawei will purchase about 100 patents according to this trend.
There are so beliefs that this move by Huawei encourages other Chinese businesses to pursue fights regarding patents rather than being afraid of it. Until now Chinese businesses have been copying other businesses’ ideas, designs, and technologies. Due to this reason, they have been dormant risks even in foreign markets. As Huawei has decided to file a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics, this has triggered opportunities for other Chinese businesses to become main agents in fights regarding patents if they secure well-made portfolios. It is as if this is some kind of ‘Risk Hedge’.
“There will be more Chinese businesses that will go after South Korean businesses regarding patents in the future.” said Patent Attorney Kang. “There will be more businesses that will try to increase their competitive edge by purchasing patents like Huawei.”
Staff Reporter Kwon, Dongjoon | [email protected]