Thursday, 27 June 2019 14:41

Huawei warns ‘politicisation’ of IP issue will destroy confidence in patent protection Featured

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Huawei warns ‘politicisation’ of IP issue will destroy confidence in patent protection Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies has warned against the issue of intellectual property being politicised and says that using IP as a political tool will destroy confidence in patent protection.

At the company’s headquarters on Thursday, Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer, said that IP is the “cornerstone of innovation and its politicisation threaten progress across the world”.

“If politicians use IP as a political tool, they will destroy confidence in the patent protection system. If some governments selectively strip companies of their IP, it will break the foundation of global innovation,” Song warned.

Song’s comments coincide with Huawei’s release of a white paper on innovation and intellectual property.

The paper, titled Respecting and Protecting Intellectual Property: The Foundation of Innovation, elaborates on Huawei's practices in and contributions to innovation and the protection of IPR.

According to the paper, innovation and intellectual property protection lie at the heart of Huawei’s success over more than 30 years.

In its statement on Thursday, Huawei said that, as of the end of 2018, it has been granted 87,805 patents, of which 11,152 were US patents, and since 2015, it had received more than US$1.4 billion in licensing revenue.

“Aside from accumulating patents of its own, Huawei has also paid more than US$6 billion in royalties to legally implement the IP of other companies, with nearly 80% of that paid to American companies, according to the document,” the company said.

Song warns that intellectual property is private property, protected by the law, and disputes should be resolved through legal proceedings, adding that in the past 30 years, “no court has ever concluded that Huawei engaged in malicious IP theft, and Huawei has never been required by the court to pay damages for this”.

According to Song, Huawei’s “collaborative and respectful approach to IP is demonstrated by the simple fact that many of its technology breakthroughs are incorporated into the open standards that govern 3G, 4G and 5G”.

“As a result, even though some countries do not buy products directly from Huawei, they still use the essential patents of Huawei, and share in the benefits of the technology Huawei creates,” Song notes.

Song also addressed Huawei’s stance on its use of patents, saying the company would not weaponise its portfolio of patents – and, rather, Huawei would adopt an open and cooperative attitude and follow the FRAND principle, or “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory,” when engaging with relevant parties in the industry on patents licensing.

“As always, Huawei is ready and willing to share our technology with the world. That includes 5G. It includes US companies and US consumers. Together, we can drive our industry forward and advance technology for all mankind."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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