Huawei terms patent talks with US carrier Verizon as ‘common’ business activity

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Files

Huawei said its patent talks with US carrier Verizon is “common” business activity and such negotiations should not be politicized, days after a senator filed legislation to prevent the Chinese firm from seeking damages in American courts.

The company has demanded that Verizon pay licensing fees for more than 230 of the telecoms equipment maker’s patents and is seeking over $1 billion, a person has told Reuters, against a background of mounting U.S.-China trade tensions.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio has described Huawei’s demand as “baseless” and filed the legislation as an amendment to the US defense law, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which places a broad ban on the use of federal money to buy Huawei products citing national security concerns.

“We simply don’t believe Marco Rubio’s amendment could be passed as law,” Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters on Thursday.

Intellectual property (IP) rights “should not be politicized”, Song said. “IP is a private property issue and should be free from the competition, trade talks and any other allegations that countries have between them.”

Song added that Huawei has been discussing patent licensing with companies in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world on a regular basis.

While the measure proposed by Rubio is several steps from becoming law, lawmakers have successfully used the NDAA in the past to crack down on the Chinese firm.

Huawei, the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker and No.2 smartphone maker, denies its products pose a security threat and has sought to fight back in U.S. courts since Washington put it on an export blacklist last month.

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It recently sued the US government over the NDAA.

The Chinese firm also sued CNEX Labs Inc, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets involving a memory control technology by the California semiconductor designer and poaching of employees.

A US  jury on Wednesday cleared CNEX, while awarding the U.S. firm no damages on its own trade theft claims.

Analysts have said Huawei may be more inclined to monetize its US patents now that the market ban and supplier ban imposed by Washington is expected to cost the firm $30 billion in revenue a year.

However, Song said Huawei has no intention of weaponizing the company’s IP rights, echoing founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei from earlier this month.

Huawei, which has received over $1.4 billion in licensing revenue since 2015, is against charging exorbitant royalties, Song said, adding the firm had never been asked by a court to pay intellectual infringement damages.

“We are not going to be a company with a major source of revenue from royalties,” Song said, adding that Huawei will remain focused on its core business for its top line.

Huawei paid more than $6 billion in royalties to legally implement IP of other companies and has been granted 87,805 patents, of which 11,152 are US patents, Song said.

Huawei has the most 5G standard essential patents in the world, according to consultancy IPlytics.

Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.