News broke yesterday that Huawei, the world's largest maker of 4G LTE network equipment, was suing Samsung on patent grounds. Specifically, Samsung was alleged to have made illegal use of patented Huawei network technology, including systems to allow their phones to access 4G LTE networks. Huawei brought suit in the United States, despite them not operating networks there, and in China, where they are based, looking for billions of dollars in damages, though a specific amount was not mentioned. The Korean tech giant finally got a chance to speak on the matter of the lawsuits after the smoke cleared, and it seems that Samsung will be filing a countersuit against Huawei.
Samsung's head of intellectual property, Ahn Seong-ho, told the media that Samsung is planning to take defensive measures in this situation, "including a lawsuit". While he did not say outright that the lawsuit would be against Huawei, it's an obvious assumption, given the situation. With Samsung accused of violating 11 Huawei patents related to 4G LTE, how Samsung plans to react and what their countersuit may touch on is a bit less obvious though. To make things a bit more mysterious, a Samsung representative refused to comment or provide any additional details, saying that Samsung was still looking into the case themselves.
Bill Plummer of Huawei said of the case that Huawei has a long and storied history of successful licensing deals, and that the company hopes for Samsung to "do the right thing" in this case. It is still unknown what specific damage amounts may be sought, which patents have been violated and when the case may begin on Huawei's end, while Samsung is keeping lips tight about the countersuit. With both sides keeping the utmost secrecy, it's hard to say at this point who may end up with an advantage in the courtroom and what could be at stake as far as monetary penalties, deals, and even the possibility of larger implications outside of this particular case. Keep in mind that it's not a total certainty that Samsung will coutersue at all, merely something said by a Samsung executive. If they do pursue this line of action though, it will be interesting to see what grounds upon they sue, and to watch two of the world's biggest OEMs duke it out in court.