Having spent a long time battling it out to supply essential communications technology to comms service providers and end user companies alike, Huawei and Ericsson have come together to sign a long-term global patent cross-licensing agreement that covers patents essential to a wide range of standards.
The arrangement covers a number of areas such as 3GPP, ITU, IEEE and IETF standards for 3G, 4G and 5G cellular technologies. It also covers the companies’ respective sales of network infrastructure and consumer devices, granting both parties global access to each other’s patented, standardised technologies.
Huawei is both a holder and implementer of standard essential patents (SEPs), and said it seeks to take a balanced approach to licensing. By cross-licensing their SEPs, it said both companies are able to share and access key technologies.
The company also emphasised that over the past 20 years, it has been a major contributor to mainstream ICT standards, including those for cellular, Wi-Fi and multimedia codecs. In 2022, Huawei is said to have topped the European Patent Office’s applicant ranking for number of patent applications filed, with 4,505 applications.
“Our commitment to sharing leading technological innovations will drive healthy, sustainable industry development and provide consumers with more robust products and services,” said Alan Fan, head of Huawei’s intellectual property department. “We are delighted to reach a long-term global cross-licensing agreement with Ericsson.
“As major contributors of standard essential patents for mobile communication, the companies recognise the value of each other’s intellectual property, and this agreement creates a stronger patent environment,” he said.
“It demonstrates the commitment both parties have forged that intellectual property should be properly respected and protected. This agreement is the result of intensive discussions that ensured the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly.”
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For its part, Ericsson estimated that with its current portfolio of IPR licensing contracts, full-year 2023 IPR licensing revenues are in the region of approximately SEK 11 billion. IT added that over several decades, it has been a leading contributor to 3GPP and to the development of global mobile standards. The company also said the value of its patent portfolio of more than 60,000 granted patents is strengthened by its position as a 5G supplier, and annual investments of more than USD 4 billion in R&D.
Ericsson said it was confident of growing its IPR revenues with further agreements and by expanding into additional licensing areas long term. “We are pleased to announce our renewal of our global cross-licensing agreement with Huawei,” said Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Christina Petersson.
“Both companies are major contributors to mobile communication standards and recognise the value of each other’s intellectual property,” she added.
“This agreement demonstrates the commitment of both parties that intellectual property should be respected and rewarded, and that leading technological innovations should be shared across the industry. A balanced approach to licensing ensures that the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly, driving healthy, sustainable industry development for the benefit of consumers and enterprises everywhere.”