Back in 2016, Huawei sued Samsung for allegedly violating several of its patents. Lawsuits were filed in both California and China, the latter of which has proven fruitful for the company. A judge in Shenzhen ruled yesterday that Samsung has infringed upon one of Huawei’s wireless communications patents. As a result, Samsung has been ordered to stop selling products that utilize the technology (in China, that is).
At the heart of the legal issue is Huawei’s claim that Samsung has infringed upon its intellectual property, and while the California case continues, the Chinese one has been partially successful for Huawei. According to a court in Shenzhen, Samsung has infringed upon a single Huawei patent concerning wireless communications.
This isn’t the first time Huawei has gotten a favorable ruling in China. In 2017, the company was awarded the equivalent of about $12 million in damages by the Quanzhou Intermediate People’s Court, which found Samsung to be in violation Huawei’s IP. Huawei had also instigated legal action in Beijing, though the results of that is unclear.
According to Chinese publicaton Caixin, Samsung said in a statement that it will be reviewing the decision carefully before responding “in accordance with” local laws. In this particular ruling, the South Korean company has been ordered to pay a fee to the court — one described as “small” — but no further monetary charges were applied. However, Samsung can’t sell products containing the Huawei tech in China now.
Whether Huawei will see the same success in California is anyone’s guess. Companies have increasingly filed patent-related lawsuits in China as the nation takes position as the world’s top smartphone market.