Samsung Strikes Back at Huawei in China Mobile Patents Suit

  • The Korean company claims Huawei infringed six patents
  • Lawsuit comes months after Huawei sued in the U.S. and China

Samsung Electronics Co. has filed a lawsuit in China against Huawei Technologies Co., accusing the country’s largest smartphone maker of infringing on its mobile technology patents.

The lawsuit comes just months after Huawei sued the Korean company in the U.S. and China. The pair had failed to strike a licensing deal over the use of technology fundamental to how mobile networks operate.

“We have faithfully negotiated with other patent holders for the fair licensing of technology,” Samsung said in an e-mailed statement Friday. “However, despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property.”

Samsung filed its lawsuit with an intellectual property court in Beijing and is claiming a total of 161 million yuan ($24 million) so far in damages from Huawei’s use of patents, the court wrote on its official Weibo microblog account. The Korean company is accusing Huawei of employing patents in its Mate 8, Honor and other smartphones and tablets. The patents in question cover wireless communications, digital cameras and other forms of technology, according to the court.

Huawei became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor last year, after Samsung and Apple Inc., by moving into higher-end models and winning over customers seeking premium features.

Its lawsuit against Samsung, an unusual move for a Chinese company, signaled the growing confidence of domestic technology companies in asserting their intellectual property rights. Legitimate lawsuits are on the rise as Chinese companies -- including Huawei and rivals such as Xiaomi Corp. -- build up intellectual property through research, deals or acquisitions. Xiaomi applied for more than 3,700 patents in 2015 and this year struck a deal covering nearly 1,500 patents with Microsoft Corp.

Huawei said it had not yet received Samsung’s complaint.

“We will review any documentation and defend ourselves as appropriate when we do,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

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