Huawei recently hosted its “Creating IP, Driving Innovation: Broadening the Innovation Landscape 2022” forum at its Shenzhen headquarters. During the forum, Huawei announce announced its latest innovations as part of its biennial “Top Ten Inventions” Awards and discussed the broader value of IP licensing and innovation. “Protecting IP is key to protecting innovation,” said Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer, Song Liuping. “We are eager to license our patents and technologies to share our innovations with the world. This will help broaden the innovation landscape, drive our industry forward, and advance technology for everyone,” he added.
The awarded inventions range from an adder neural network that significantly reduces power consumption and circuit area., to an “optical iris” that provides a unique identifier for optical fibers. It is designed to help carriers manage their network resources, cutting time and costs associated with broadband deployment. Some of the other inventions also announced include a multi-target competition algorithm that resolves some of the foremost challenges in autonomous driving, including positioning, perception, and decision-making challenges in complex urban road scenarios where people and vehicles are mixed.
As well as the ‘Kite’ for Core Networks invention that allows carriers to deploy remote core networks, or ‘kite networks’, for their business clients from different industries, meeting their stringent reliability and security requirements. Huawei’s strength lies in research and development (R&D), and it is the reason behind Huawei’s continuous business success. Every year, Huawei invests over 10% of its sales revenue into R&D. In terms of R&D expenditure, Huawei ranked second in the 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. In 2021, the company increased its R&D investment to CNY142.7 billion, representing 22.4% of our total revenue. Over the past decade, Huawei’s total R&D investment surpassed CNY845 billion.
By the end of 2021, Huawei held more than 110,000 active patents across over 45,000 patent families. It has more granted patents than any other Chinese company, has filed the most patent applications with the EU Patent Office, and ranked fifth in terms of new patents granted in the United States. For five straight years, Huawei has ranked No. 1 worldwide in terms of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications.
Huawei also has one of the largest patent portfolios in the world. The company filed its first patent application in China back in 1995. At the end of 2021, the company has held a total of 110,000+ active patents, across 45,000+ patent families. In terms of the number of patents granted in 2021, Huawei ranked No. 1 at both the China National Intellectual Property Administration and the European Patent Office, and No. 5 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The company has one of the strongest standard essential patents (SEP) portfolios in the 5G technology world. Telecommunications is a highly standardized industry, and SEPs are patents that are indispensable when implementing a standard technology. Huawei executives during the forum emphasized that the company is committed to open research and innovation and believes that collecting patent licensing fees is the result, not the purpose, of Huawei’s innovation. An appropriate licensing fee helps encourage further innovation and benefits consumers, the industry, and countries at large.
Alan Fan, Head of Huawei’s IPR Department, said the value of Huawei patents has seen wide recognition in the industry, especially in mainstream standards such as cellular technology, Wi-Fi, and audio/video codecs. “In the past five years, more than two billion smartphones have been licensed to Huawei’s 4G/5G patents. And for cars, about eight million connected vehicles licensed to Huawei patents are being delivered to the consumers every year,” Fan said.
Huawei is also working actively with patent license administration companies in offering “one-stop” licenses for mainstream standards. “Over 260 companies—accounting for one billion devices—have obtained Huawei’s HEVC patent licenses through a patent pool,” Fan said. He added that the company is in discussions to establish a new patent pool to give the industry “quick access” to Huawei’s patents for Wi-Fi devices worldwide.
Huawei is also discussing joint licensing programs for 5G patents with licensing experts and other leading industry patentees.