Huawei Technologies Seals New Deal With Ericsson for Patents
Huawei Technologies has signed a new deal with Ericsson for dual rights to use each other’s cellular technologies in network gear and consumer devices. The new patent cross-licensing agreement with the Swedish company will cover patents essential to various standards for 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies worldwide.
Alan Fan, head of Huawei’s intellectual property department, said Huawei Technologies and Ericsson recognize the value of each other’s intellectual property, and this agreement creates a stronger patent environment. He said the agreement is the result of intensive discussions that ensured the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly.
Emil Zhang, head of the European IPR department at Huawei, said it is the first long-term deal the companies had entered into. Zhang said there is a reciprocal arrangement for both companies to use each other’s patents. “We need to pay Ericsson, and Ericsson needs to pay Huawei so there is some net payment from one company to the other company.” The executive brushed off the idea of Huawei Technologies using the agreement to its advantage to boost its reputation in Europe.
Zhang highlighted that the IP cross-licensing agreements were very normal industry practice and will create value for both parties. “This is nothing about Huawei using Ericsson as a vehicle into Europe as a vehicle into Europe, it’s just a recognition of the industry role in this IP field, as well as the two companies’ recognition of each other’s IP value.”
He explained that Huawei is not only a patent holder, but also a patent implementer. “So we are not afraid to pay reasonable royalties on the one hand, and also receive reasonable payments for Huawei’s patents on the other hand.” Zhang said royalty income is not the goal that they are aiming – the results of Huawei’s innovation should be recognized.
Christina Petersson, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, said the agreement demonstrates the commitment of both parties that IP should be respected and rewarded, and that leading technological innovations should be shared across the industry. The deal honors both companies IP.
The deal is looked at with scrutiny as Huawei Technologies was blocked by the EU Commission from the EU research funding and contracts because it poses materially higher risks than other 5G suppliers.