On 9 December, two Chinese tech giants, Huawei and OPPO announced the signing of a global cross-licensing patent agreement, which covers standard cellular essential patents, including 5G and related products.
It was reported that a blanket patent licensing arrangement was provided by Huawei and OPPO of which, OPPO has paid to license Huawei’s advanced 5G technology, and Huawei has also obtained the required OPPO patent license due to its massive investment in the technical research of wireless standards in recent years.
This mutual recognition of intellectual property between companies is considered “a major step towards fostering a positive cycle of innovation and research of high-value standards: investing, receiving returns from investment, and then reinvesting,” according to Alan Fan, Head of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Department.
Adler Feng, OPPO’s Chief Intellectual Property Officer also stated that it’s a win-win deal for both sides, and “OPPO will advocate for the establishment of a sustainable, healthy intellectual property ecosystem, always.” said Feng.
5G is the focus of the licenses considered by Huawei before entering into business with any device company. In fact, another cross-licensing deal with Samsung has also been formed by Huawei recently. The deals with OPPO and Samsung are the largest licensing deals for Huawei in China and globally, in respect to the number of patents and devices.
Huawei has always believed that investing in innovation and intellectual property is an investment for the future, with its total R&D expenditure amounting to 845 billion RMB ($121 billion) over the past 10 years. Take 5G as an example, Huawei started investing in 5G back in 2009, when 4G was just starting to be used for commercial purposes.
On top of that, in 2021, Huawei’s R&D expenditure reached the highest in the company’s history, with 142.7 billion RMB ($20.5 billion) representing 22% of the total revenue, as per data from Huawei shared with Dao Insights.
In 2022 alone, Huawei expects there will be around 20 new or extended licenses executed, which includes companies from the smartphone, intelligent vehicle, network, and IoT sectors, and licenses for 350 million 5G phones and more than 15 million connected vehicles are estimated to be covered.