Wednesday, 17 March 2021 07:09

Huawei plans to net more than US$1b from 5G patents between 2019-21

Jason Ding, head of Huawei's Intellectual Property Rights Department. Jason Ding, head of Huawei's Intellectual Property Rights Department. Supplied

Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies will earn between US$1.2 billion (A$1.54 billion) and US$1.3 billion from licensing its 5G patent portfolio between 2019 and 2021, the company has announced.

Fees would be charged to companies like Samsung and Apple that sell multi-mode 5G smartphones, with a per unit royalty cap of US$2.50, Jason Ding, head of the company's Intellectual Property Rights Department, said in a statement on Tuesday.

A white paper on innovation and IP was released at a forum held at the company's offices in Shenzhen on Tuesday.

Huawei's chief legal officer Song Liuping told the forum: "We want to show the history of our innovation over the past 30 years and our long-term commitment to respecting, protecting, and contributing to IP.

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"With this white paper, we want you to better understand how Huawei has become what it is today."

Huawei is estimated to have close to 20% of the patents that are deemed essential for 5G smartphones.

In the white paper, the company said it was of the world's largest patent holders and by the end of 2020, it held more than 100,000 active patents in more than 40,000 patent families worldwide.

"Huawei has been the largest technical contributor to 5G standards, and follows fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) principles when it comes to patent licensing," said Ding.

"We hope that the royalty rate we announced today [Tuesday] will increase 5G adoption by giving 5G implementers a more transparent cost structure that will inform their investment decisions moving forward."

Huawei's earnings from its smartphone division have fallen sharply over the last year as US sanctions have prevented it from obtaining components needed for making flagship models.

As the technology analyst firm Counterpoint Research pointed out recently, Huawei's inventory for key components has been decreasing and the company was unable to source parts for 5G models.

Hence it had reduced the number of launches, Counterpoint analyst Varun Mishra said, adding that more than 65% of devices being currently sold in China were 5G-capable.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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