Samsung Electronics will pay $11.6 million to Huawei Technologies over patent infringement, a Chinese court ruled on Thursday. The Quanzhou Intermediary Court decided that three subsidiaries of the South Korean tech giant have infringed on certain intellectual properties of Huawei Device Co Limited, Huawei's smartphone unit. The sum awarded to Samsung is the first of several related damages that the Seoul-based consumer electronics manufacturer might have to pay to the Chinese company. Huawei previously filed patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung in both China and the United States, alleging the company is infringing on several of its smartphone patents. Huawei understandably welcomed the recent ruling in a statement given to local media outlets. A representative of Samsung later revealed the company is still in the process of deciding on its next course of action and will respond to the ruling in due time, implying Samsung may opt to appeal to the decision.
Huawei specifically sued over more than 20 smartphone and tablet models Samsung has been selling worldwide, claiming that those devices infringe on its patents and seeking $12.7 billion in damages for over 30 million of products Samsung sold. The Galaxy S7 lineup was among the devices allegedly infringing on Huawei's patents, local media reports. In light of that fact, the $11.6 million fine Samsung was ordered to pay can be interpreted as a win for the South Korean company given the massive discrepancy between the figure Huawei sought and the one that it was actually awarded by the Chinese court. On the other hand, Samsung's subsidiaries were ordered to immediately stop infringing on Huawei's patents or face further consequences, so it remains to be seen whether the ruling will somehow affect the company's manufacturing operations given how many of the devices that the court found infringe on Huawei's patents are still being manufactured and sold. Regardless, an update on the situation is expected to follow later this year.
Samsung is currently in the process of preparing for the launch of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, both of which will be releasing worldwide later this month. Likewise, Huawei just released its own flagship duo – the P10 and the P10 Plus.