Huawei sees major patent progress

A visitor experiences Huawei VR Glass set during an expo for virtual reality and augmented reality devices in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Huawei Technologies Co said on Wednesday that more than 2 billion smartphones have been licensed to use its 4G or 5G patents in the past five years, as the Chinese tech giant continues its heavy spending on research and development to boost its technological prowess.

Fan Zhiyong, head of Huawei’s intellectual property rights department, said the value of Huawei patents has seen wide recognition in the industry, especially in mainstream standards such as cellular technology, Wi-Fi and audio/video functionality.

For cars, about 8 million connected vehicles licensed to Huawei patents are being delivered to consumers every year, Fan said.

Huawei is also actively working with patent license administration companies in offering one-stop licenses for mainstream standards, and is also discussing joint licensing programs for 5G patents with licensing experts and other leading industry patentees, Fan added.

Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer, said: “Protecting IP is key to protecting innovation. We are eager to license our patents and technologies to share our innovations with the world. This will help broaden the innovation landscape, drive our industry forward and advance technology for everyone.”

Currently, Huawei is one of the world’s largest patent holders, thanks to its sustained investment in innovation. By the end of 2021, Huawei had filed more than 200,000 patent applications worldwide, and been granted more than 110,000.

In 2021, Huawei filed 3,544 patent applications with the EU Patent Office, the most in the region, and it also became for the first time one of the top five companies in terms of the number of patents granted in the United States.

According to Clarivate, a leading global IP consultancy and analytics firm, by Dec 31 there were a total of 46,322 declared 5G-standard essential patent families, and Huawei was tops, owning 5,108 patent families with a share of 18 percent.

Tian Lipu, president of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property China, said in the future, competition will be over intellectual property. Over the past few years, Huawei has been under huge external pressure. Despite this, it has not been crushed. Instead, the company has grown stronger than ever before and inspired more Chinese companies to pursue innovation. This shows Huawei’s global competitiveness in the field of IP.

On Wednesday, Huawei also unveiled a batch of key innovations that the company believes will create new product series, become important commercial features of existing products and generate considerable value for the company and the industry.

As of the end of 2021, Huawei had 107,000 R&D employees, roughly 54.8 percent of its workforce. Over the past decade, Huawei’s total R&D investment exceeded 845 billion yuan ($124.5 billion).


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