Huawei strikes a balance between tech innovation and adoption through IP protection

By Huawei

At the “Bridging Horizons of Innovations: Sharing IP, Driving Innovation” event, the ICT provider made a case for IP protection.

Song Liuping, Huawei's Chief Legal Officer, speaking at the “Bridging Horizons of Innovations: Sharing IP, Driving Innovation” event. Image: Huawei

“Innovative thinking, technologies and solutions, as well as all-hands-on-deck collaborative approaches are crucial for us as a humanity to overcome the challenges of today,” said Tomas Lamanauskas, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 


Lamanauskas was speaking at ICT provider Huawei’s annual event on innovation and intellectual property protection, titled “Bridging Horizons of Innovations: Sharing IP, Driving Innovation”, held in Shenzhen, China, in mid-July. 


In pursuing innovation and technological development, the discussion on intellectual property (IP) cannot be left out. At the event, Wang Junfeng, Global Chairman of international law firm King & Wood Mallesons said: “IP and innovation complement each other”. 


“Innovation is the source of all IP-driven concepts…and protecting IP means protecting innovation,” he explained. “There would be no innovation without IP protection.” 


Cognisant of the value IP brings to innovation, Huawei made several key announcements relating to IP protection for its technologies during the event. Namely, the tech giant announced royalty rates for its numerous innovations and technologies, and launched its official licensing website. 


IP protection and licensing of Huawei technologies


“Huawei is willing to share cutting-edge innovations in the form of patents with the world,” said the company’s Chief Legal Officer, Song Liuping, during his opening address.


At the event, Huawei signaled its commitment to licensing its standard essential patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principles with the announcement of royalty rates for its 4G and 5G handsets, Wi-Fi 6 devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) products. 


The rate caps for 4G and 5G handsets will be set for US$1.5 per unit and US$2.5 per unit respectively. Huawei’s royalty rate for Wi-Fi 6 consumer devices, meanwhile, is US$0.5 per unit. For IoT, the rate for IoT-Centric devices is one percent of the net selling price, capped at US$0.75, while the rate for IoT-Enhanced devices ranges from US$0.3 to US$1 per unit.

Alan Fan, Vice President and Head of the Intellectual Property Rights at Huawei. Image: Huawei

Alan Fan, Vice President and Head of the Intellectual Property Rights Department at Huawei, reiterated that a positive cycle where innovators are protected, rewarded, and encouraged is key to sustainable innovation.


“Huawei takes a balanced approach to patent licensing. We believe reasonable royalty rates will incentivise both the creation and adoption of innovations,” he said.


Huawei’s official licensing website was also launched at the event. This website offers details about the company’s bilateral licensing programs ranging from mobile handsets to Wi-Fi and cellular IoT.


Embracing industry collaboration


To date, Huawei has entered into almost 200 bilateral patent licenses, according to Fan. In addition, over 350 companies have obtained licenses to Huawei’s patents through patent pools. 


Huawei has entered into patent licenses with both leading tech industry players such as Samsung and Oppo, and top automakers including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Subaru, Renault, Lamborghini, and Bentley.


It is also an active advocate and supporter of major global open source industry organizations, according to Fan.


“Intellectual property is the great engine of cooperation in technology. It advances technology for everyone to enjoy.” said Randall R. Rader, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.