Huawei owns the most patents on next-generation 5G technology, ensuring the company will get paid despite Trump administration efforts to erase it from the supply chain, according to a new study.
The study by two research firms identified the inventions most closely connected to the 5G standards and found that six companies owned more than 80% — Huawei, Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc., Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB and Qualcomm Inc., the only U.S.-based company in the group. That may be awkward for President Donald Trump, whose administration has launched a global effort to shut out Huawei.
“Even if they hire some other company to build the 5G infrastructure, they still have to pay the Chinese company because of the intellectual contribution to develop the technology,” said Deepak Syal, director of GreyB Services Pte., a technology research firm that conducted the study with analytics firm Amplified AI Inc.
“Rather than saying who has less contributions or who has less number of patents, let’s work toward increasing the intellectual contribution of our country or our company and then build the 5G infrastructure,” Syal said. “Otherwise, even by blocking, they are not helping in the end because they’re paying money in terms of royalties.”
Huawei has collected more than $1.4 billion in licensing revenue and has paid some $6 million to other companies, it said in a court filing in its patent dispute with Verizon Communications Inc.
“Huawei creates plenty of its own intellectual property; we don’t need to steal anyone else’s,” Ben Howes, a Huawei spokesman, said in an opinion video. The company said it put together the video “in response to the U.S. government’s attempts to prevent Huawei from collaborating with academic institutions and innovating with our R&D and patents.”