Huawei’s stark warning on ‘politicising IP’

Multinational ICT firm Huawei has issued a warning that the politicisation of intellectual property threatens progress across the world.

In a statement issued by the company, Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer, said: “If politicians use IP as a political tool, they will destroy confidence in the patent protection system. If some governments selectively strip companies of their IP, it will break the foundation of global innovation.”

The company has stated that as of the end of 2018, it has been granted 87,805 patents, of which 11, 152 are U.S patents.

Since 2015, Huawei has received over 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in licensing revenue, it added.

“Aside from accumulating patents of its own, Huawei has also paid more than 6 billion U.S. dollars in royalties to legally implement the IP of other companies, with nearly 80% of that paid to American companies, according to the document,” Huawei stated.

As far as its use of patents,Liuping said the company will not weaponise its portfolio of patents.

Rather, he said, Huawei will adopt an open and cooperative attitude and follow the FRAND principle, or “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory,” when engaging with relevant parties in the industry on patents licensing.

“As always, Huawei is ready and willing to share our technology with the world. That includes 5G. It includes U.S. companies and U.S. consumers. Together, we can drive our industry forward and advance technology for all mankind,” said Liuping.

The comments were made prior to media reports on the latest decision by U.S President Donald Trump to allow expanded sales of US technology supplies to Huawei.

According to an ITWeb report Trump addressed the media at the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit in Osaka, Japan, and said: “US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. I’m talking about equipment where there is no great national emergency problem with it. But the US companies can sell their equipment. So we have a lot of the great companies in, Silicon Valley and based in different parts of the country, that make extremely complex equipment. We’re letting them sell to Huawei.”

In May 2019 Huawei responded to global media reports regarding the US entity ban list and the impact this would have on the company’s affiliation with trade organisations and partners.

Huawei said: “After the US Department of Commerce announced its decision to add Huawei to its Entity List, our production and supply chains have been complying with all applicable laws and regulations, and everything remains business as usual. At the moment, our supplier ARM is reviewing and evaluating the impact of the Commerce Department’s decision, and is actively communicating with the US government. We completely understand and support them.”

“Recently, many of our partners have chosen to stick with us and weather this storm together. We are immensely grateful for this. Moving forward, Huawei will continue working with our partners to protect the interests of our customers and consumers around the globe, maintain order in the market, and ensure the healthy development of our industry.”

In so far as its operations in Africa are concerned, the company has stated that “it already has a complete set of robust and effective business continuity management systems. With these systems in place, the majority of our products will continue to serve our customers even under extreme conditions.”

Source: IT Web Africa