Huawei has been refused an injunction enforcement request against Samsung in China which it filed as part of a patent dispute between the two, a San Francisco-based federal judge ruled last week. While the Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen already forbade Samsung to manufacture and sell its 4K LTE-enabled smartphones in China three months back, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick said on Friday that the ruling can't go into effect until he resolves the dispute stemming from a breach of contract complaint filed in California. While none of the federal court's decisions are directly binding for the Chinese judicial system, Judge Orrick's Friday ruling is preventing Huawei from enforcing the injunction in the Far Eastern country, effectively rendering it meaningless less Huawei wants to automatically lose its dispute in San Francisco.
Huawei and Samsung have been leading a legal battle over 4G patent royalties since mid-2016, with the aforementioned Chinese court finding the South Korean tech giant guilty of infringing two of the firm's patents in January. The Seoul-based company is claiming it will have to close its Chinese factories if the injunction stands, with the order thus potentially causing irreparable damage to its business which wouldn't be possible to amend even if its complaint against the original ruling is successful and Huawei ends up being the one to lose the case, a notion that Judge Orrick agreed with.
Huawei is presently also said to be in a patent dispute with Qualcomm but is more likely to settle that case than pursue a lengthy legal battle such as the one it's currently going through with the maker of Galaxy-branded devices. Samsung's smartphone market share in China dropped below a single percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2017, less than five years after the company was widely believed to be the leading handset manufacturer in the country, according to several industry trackers. Samsung restructured its China division last year and repeatedly apologized to investors for its underwhelming performance in the world's largest smartphone market but has yet to show signs of recovering that branch of its business.