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May 25, 2016

Huawei sues Samsung over smartphone patent infringement

News: Samsung could be embroiled in a new court battle as Huawei seeks a cross-licensing agreement.

By Alexander Sword

Huawei is suing Samsung in court over patent infringement on mobile and network technologies.

Samsung was accused of using Huawei’s technologies in its smartphones without permission.

The lawsuits cover four patents for mobile devices and eight for networks, according to the Associate Press, which said that Huawei was not asking the court to restrict sales of Samsung handsets. Some of these patents are classed as fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND).

Its goal appears to be to seek a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung of the kind that it has with other companies such as Qualcomm, which may involve Huawei being able to use some Samsung technologies in its own products.

"Thus far, we have signed cross-licensing agreements with dozens of our competitors," Ding Jianxing, Huawei spokesperson, said to the BBC.

"We hope Samsung will respect Huawei’s R&D investment and patents, stop infringing our patents and get the necessary licence from Huawei, and work together with Huawei to jointly drive the industry forward."

In a statement Samsung said, "We will thoroughly review the complaint and take appropriate action to defend Samsung’s business interests."

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The cases were filed in California and Shenzhen, where Huawei is headquartered.

Both companies make Android smartphones, an area in which Samsung has a robust lead: according to recent Strategy Analytics research, Samsung has a market share in smartphones of 23.6 percent, while Huawei’s is at 8.5 percent.

Patent lawsuits can be immensely costly and drawn out; Oracle and Google continue to clash over alleged copyright infringement in the Android operating system. Oracle provoked significant anger from Google when it revealed in court confidential figures about Android’s financial performance.

Samsung itself is still embroiled in a patent dispute with Apple, which has spanned several years and many jurisdictions. Apple has previously won $548 million in a partial settlement of the case.

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