Wednesday, 24 October 2018 08:26

Huawei faces big bill after loss in 4G court case

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Huawei faces big bill after loss in 4G court case Pixabay

Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei has lost a legal battle over the theft of smartphone technology that enables access to 3G and 4G networks, and could face a ban on sale of such devices in the UK.

A report in the British daily The Telegraph said the suit dated back to 2014 when Samsung, Google and Huawei were sued by a small American company, Unwired Planet.

Samsung and Google settled with Unwired in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Huawei has argued that it should only be charged fees for using the technology in the UK. It sells devices using these technologies mostly in South America and Southeast Asia where Unwired has no patents.

But a British Court of Appeal dismissed Huawei's arguments on Tuesday, and said it would have to pay global licence fees to avoid having its 3G and 4G devices banned from sale in the UK.

Huawei has sought permission to appeal the decision in the British Supreme Court.

The judgment said Huawei would have to pay between 0.03% and 0.06% of its handset sales as licence fees, much lower than what the Nevada-based Unwired had sought.

In 2014, Huawei was asked to pay £2.9 million in “interim” costs to Unwired but that amount would now be much more.

The Telegraph quoted a Huawei spokesman as saying: "Huawei remains committed to provide its cutting-edge products and services to our customers without interruption.

"Irrespective of the ultimate outcome of the case, Huawei does not believe that the Court’s decision will adversely affect its business operations either in the UK or in other countries.”

Unwired bought thousands of patents from Ericsson in 2013. It is owned by PanOptis, a Texan patent company.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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