ITU - Huawei to seek more mobile phone patents

Huawei seeks to boost its level ownership of patents to beyond 5 percent
  • John Blau (IDG News Service)
  • 06 December, 2006 06:33

Huawei Technologies Co. plans to increase its investments in research and development to expand its patent portfolio for mobile phone technologies, making it less dependent on intellectual property from other manufacturers, a senior executive said Tuesday.

Huawei owns only about 5 percent of the intellectual property rights for components used in its handsets, Senior Vice President Guo Ping, said Tuesday during a news conference at the Telecom World conference and exhibition in Hong Kong

Huawei is best known outside of Asia for its networking equipment, but it also supplies handsets to more than 70 operators around the world. While the company recognizes the intellectual property rights of others, it also sees a need to have to have a larger patent portfolio of its own, according to Ping.

Patents are a valuable commodity in high tech industries. Companies with fewer patents often have to pay more to use technologies developed by others in their products.

Huawei could potentially benefit from the Chinese government's support of TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access ), a homegrown 3G (third-generation) technology. Many of the technology's core intellectual property rights are owned by Chinese companies.

Ping declined to comment on the ongoing feud over patent royalty payments between Qualcomm and Nokia. The Finnish mobile phone maker, which has been unable to work around Qualcomm's CDMA patents for its own third-generation WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) handsets, has been trying to pressure the U.S. company into agreeing to a cap on royalties in 3G phones.

At a separate press conference on Tuesday in Hong Kong, Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Jacobs said the company continues to negotiate, but that the talks are not progressing far.

"Ideally, we would like to see if we can get a win-win situation for both companies but this will be very difficult," he said. "But both companies have a history of competing vigorously."

Telecom World, which is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, runs through Friday.