Huawei Sues Xiaomi for Patent Infringements

Huawei and Xiaomi, two Chinese technology giants, have recently become ensnared in a patent dispute. The two companies are actively negotiating a deal on patent licensing and it is industry practice to solve the licensing problem through mediation.

“China’s intellectual property protection system provides a variety of resolution mechanisms, including administrative and judicial mediation. We believe that mediation is an effective channel to help reach a deal,” the two sides said.

As for the administrative adjudication of major patent infringement disputes, the China National Intellectual Property Administration issued a document on June 1, 2021, which stated a time limit of three months for handling cases. The limit can be extended for one month upon approval. Therefore, the patent infringement case between Huawei and Xiaomi may be closed within three months.

At the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Design Capital Conference last year, Richard Yu, managing director of Huawei and CEO of Terminal BG, expressed his dissatisfaction with patent infringement, “In many industries, especially some Chinese enterprises, they are copying our designs, including some patents.”

Huawei’s investment in R&D reached 142.7 billion yuan ($20 billion) in 2021, and the accumulated investment in R&D over the last ten years has exceeded 845 billion yuan. On December 5, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration released a report that showed Huawei had been granted 7,630 invention patents in 2021, ranking first.

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On April 6, 2022, an internal platform for Huawei employees published the “patent licensing business report” issued by firm founder Ren Zhengfei, showing, “Patent fees should be in a reasonable range. Low fees will curb the innovation of the entire society, and no one would be willing to invest in R&D, which would then form monopoly.”

On December 9, 2022, Huawei and OPPO announced the signing of a global patent cross-licensing agreement, which covers cellular standard essential patents, including 5G. This is a great development in Huawei’s patent licensing field, and the first public cooperation on patents among domestic smartphone giants.