Huawei Goes All In On Domestic Patent Licensing Deals For 5G Technology

Huawei Goes All In On Domestic Patent Licensing Deals For 5G Technology

Chinese telecommunications giant retained 110,000 active patents in the past year alone for telecommunication devices and more.

Huawei Technologies Co. is focusing on boosting revenue through patent licensing agreements to domestic companies as the Shenzhen-based telecommunications company seeks to overcome losses as a result of US trade sanctions.

‘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,’ said Song Liuping, Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer at Huawei’s biennial forum held at its headquarters. 

The number of smartphones licensed to Huawei’s 4G and 5G patents are at two billion and counting just in the past five years, as revealed by Alan Fan, Head of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Rights Department. As for vehicles, eight million vehicles connected to Wi-Fi are utilizing licensed Huawei technology. 

Over 260 companies accounting for the one billion devices have gained Huawei’s HEVC patent licenses via a patent pool. Huawei is currently increasing efforts in establishing a new patent pool to facilitate rapid access to the company’s patents for Wi-Fi devices worldwide. The Chinese multinational is also actively collaborating with patent license administration companies to provide ‘one-stop’ patent licenses alongside joint licensing programs for 5G patents with key players in the industry. 

Huawei remains one of the world’s largest patent holders. The company filed more than 200,000 patent applications internationally by the end of 2021. More than 110,000 applications were approved. In terms of total sales, patent licensing deals generate an estimate of 1.2 billion USD to 1.3 billion USD from the years 2019 to 2021 for the company. However, Fan elaborates that Huawei ‘does not operate [patent licensing] as its main moneymaking business.’ 

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei expressed the company’s initiative to maximize revenue via patent licensing as a matter of diversifying the company’s sales mix, a strategy to offset the effects of US sanctions. Ren insists that royalty charges ‘should not be too low’ with respect to R&D efforts within the company. Huawei contributes more than 10% of its sales revenue into R&D yearly. In the past 10 years, Huawei’s total monetary investment in R&D exceeded 845 billion RMB.

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