Bloomberg WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – While Huawei Technologies Co. is under fierce pressure from the Trump administration, the Chinese telecommunications giant has an advantage that the US can not undermine: a vast global patent portfolio on critical technologies.
Huawei holds 56,492 active patents worldwide in telecommunications, networking and other high-tech inventions, according to Anaqua's AcclaimIP report. And it is intensifying the search for royalties and license fees while its access to US markets and suppliers is restricted.
The company is in protracted licensing talks with telephone service provider Verizon Communications Inc. and is in conflict with chip maker Qualcomm Inc. over the value of patents. Huawei also filed complaints against Harris Corp. after the defense subcontractor sued him last year for breaching the network and cloud security patents.
"Patents are basically economic weapons of war," said Brad Hulbert, a patent attorney with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff in Chicago. "They are hurt by the sanctions imposed by the Trump government and say," You hurt us and our ability to sell, and we can do it in return. "It's the sword of the sword."
Broader concerns about national security also weigh on this technological battle. In some quarters, Huawei's disproportionate role as a provider of 5G or next-generation networks makes it a potential threat as an agent of espionage or a tool for disrupting the network. Huawei has not only become a hotspot at the heart of the 5G arms race, it is also one of the many companies targeted by the ongoing trade dispute between US President Donald Trump and China.
In May, Trump signed an order that should prevent Huawei from selling equipment in the United States. Shortly after, the Ministry of Commerce said that he had placed Huawei on a blacklist that could prohibit him from doing business with US companies.
For its part, the Asian nation views Huawei as a powerful symbol of its evolution from a global technology factory to a technology center, while the US claims that the technology company steals inventions from US companies.
"Huawei has invested a lot of money and they want to be recognized," said Jim McGregor, a technology analyst at Mesa, Arizona, at Tirias Research. "Huawei is implementing standard business practices for the wireless industry."
Patent litigation is commonplace in the technology sector, and the upcoming revolution announced by advances in 5G wireless technology promises to bring even more. Traditional players like Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj are redoubling their efforts to get more money from their patents. Qualcomm is appealing a decision in a lawsuit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission that threatens the licensing program that accounts for most of its profits. Huawei and Samsung Electronics Co. ended two years of armed conflict in February.
Qualcomm and Huawei are considered two of the biggest players in the development of 5G, which could not only offer faster speeds, but also new features, including remote surgery via robots and autonomous cars that speak to each other. Speech