Oh boy, Samsung is in legal trouble with yet another smartphone manufacturer. This time it has stoked the ire of Huawei as the Chinese smartphone maker yesterday filed a lawsuit against Samsung, claiming the company makes use of 11 standard-essential patents in the core technology that powers LTE – which Huawei owns.

The crux of the lawsuit, while it many sounds saucy and scandalous, it actually about licensing.

In a heavily redacted court filing uploaded to Scribd, the Chinese maker lists the patents Samsung has allegedly used without proper licensing. In the document it is alleges that, “Samsung and its affiliates have earned billion of dollars selling UMTS and LTE-compliant products that use Huawei’s technology.”

The court filing suggests that Huawei’s business has been injured as a result of Samsung’s use of the patents, as some of them are classed under the terms which allow for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing, according to the firm.

The simple English translation of this is that Huawei doesn’t mind if any smartphone manufacturer uses the technology in their phones, but if you want to use technology that somebody else created, you have to pay a licencing fee.

What makes matters worse for Samsung, is that Huawei claims it informed Samsung of at least one of the patent infringements as far back as 31st December 2015. The patent in question is listed as ‘003’ which is reference to a mobile phone switching from an LTE network to one that is not – while the phone is idle or for network load balancing.

The negotiations between the two companies have naturally been kept private before, but a Huawei representative told The Verge that in this case, Huawei has been forced to approach the courts.

“In this instance, while we would always prefer to go the negotiating route, we have been compelled to go to the courts to protect our investment in R&D. At present, we are not receiving royalties for the use of our intellectual property,” the rep told The Verge.

The heavily redacted court filing lays out one claim in detail.

“In addition, because Defendants have persisted in importing, selling, and offering for sale a substantial volume of standard-compliant products that use Huawei’s SEP technology without a license, Huawei also brings claims for patent infringement under 35 U.S.,” says one entry.

To drive the point home on just how serious a matter this is for Huawei, it has requested that Samsung pay royalties for any and all products that use Huawei’s patents including phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2, S7 edge and about 25 other products which includes Sammy’s newest flagship smartphones, the S7 and S7 edge.

Update 25/05

Samsung has responded to the allegations brought forward by Huawei.

“We will thoroughly review the complaint and take appropriate action to defend Samsung’s business interests,” a Samsung spokesperson told htxt.africa.

We will continue to update you regarding any new developments in this story.

[Via – The Verge]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.