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9 Jun, 2020 12:14

Huawei’s patent portfolio dominance is its trump card in 5G race with US

Huawei’s patent portfolio dominance is its trump card in 5G race with US

A new study by research firms found that China’s Huawei owns the most patents on next-generation 5G technology, which means Washington will still have to pay royalties to the firm, despite President Trump’s efforts to shut it out.

According to the research, conducted by technology research firm GreyB Services in cooperation with analytics firm Amplified AI, six companies own more than 80 percent of all the inventions most closely connected to the 5G standards. Those companies are Huawei, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Nokia Oyj, Ericsson and Qualcomm, the only US-based firm in the group.

The number of patents a company holds, and their significance to the industry standards, helps to determine who profits most from the 5G technology, which is projected to revolutionize developments such as autonomous cars, robotic surgery, and connected homes.

Huawei is the global leader in 5G technology, having filed more than 3,000 patent applications. However, the telecoms giant has come under increased pressure from the United States, which is attempting to deprive it of foreign 5G contracts.

Washington has put the company on its infamous Entity List, prohibiting US businesses from dealing with it without special permission. In its latest move, the US tried to cut the Chinese firm off from global semiconductor supplies.

Also on rt.com China aims to install 600,000 5G stations by the end of the year – reports

“Even if they [the US administration – Ed.] hire some other company to build the 5G infrastructure, they still have to pay the Chinese company because of the intellectual contribution to develop the technology,” said the director of GreyB Services, Deepak Syal.

According to the study, all six companies were found to have padded their patent submissions to ensure they’d be able to later enforce their rights and increase the amount they’d be able to collect in royalties.

“Companies over-declare pretty equally, so reducing everyone’s share by 75 percent or so yields the same pecking order,” a law professor at the University of Utah, Jorge Contreras, told Bloomberg.

According to Huawei, it has collected more than $1.4 billion in licensing revenue and has paid some $6 million to other companies.

“Huawei creates plenty of its own intellectual property – we don’t need to steal anyone else’s,” said Huawei spokesman Benjamin Howes in an opinion video. The company said it recorded the video “in response to the US government’s attempts to prevent Huawei from collaborating with academic institutions and innovating with our R&D and patents.”

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