Chinese electronics giant Huawei Technologies and its stateside unit Huawei Device USA have been found guilty on five counts of patent infringement earlier this week, with the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ordering it to pay $10.5 million to PanOptis, a Plano-based intellectual property creator. The firm alleged patent infringement on a number of its LTE technologies in October, claiming Huawei used the telecommunications solutions without paying to license them.
The infringements manifested in a wide variety of Android smartphones capable of communicating with 4G LTE networks that Huawei manufactured in recent times, according to the complaint. The Mate 9, PH Lite, and Nexus 6P were specifically listed by the listed by the lawsuit as being evidence of patent infringement on Huawei's part. The technologies in question fall under the standard-essential category, meaning PanOptis was required to license them under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. That's precisely what the plaintiff claims it did, having argued it held talks with Huawei on at least ten occasions over a two-year period before the complaint was filed. PanOptis said it provided Huawei with FRAND licensing terms and reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the company on several occasions, claiming that good faith wasn't returned.
It's presently unclear whether Huawei will appeal the first-instance verdict, though that seems like a probable scenario. The firm has already been accused of patent infringement and even trade secret theft on several occasions in recent history, with its issues in the U.S. being complex and widespread. Huawei's ambitions to launch a large-scale smartphone operation in the country have been crippled by the American government with this year's iteration of the annual defense bill that prevents federal contractors from relying on the company's equipment, with major mobile service providers reportedly also facing pressure to avoid carrying its devices in the future.