Caixin
Oct 08, 2019 03:10 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Huawei Sues Rival Chinese Phone Maker in Infringement Case

Huawei seeks $2.8 million in damages from rival Transsion for alleged use of copyrighted wallpaper design. Photo: VCG
Huawei seeks $2.8 million in damages from rival Transsion for alleged use of copyrighted wallpaper design. Photo: VCG

Huawei Technologies Co. sued a rival Chinese phone maker for 20 million yuan ($2.8 million) of remedies for intellectual property infringement.

Shenzhen Transsion Holdings Co. Ltd. said it received notice of the lawsuit Sept. 29 from a local court in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, where both companies are based. Transsion said the court accepted the case Sept. 23 and hasn’t opened a trial.

Transsion is little known in China but has gained dominance in Africa’s cell phone market, where Huawei is also deeply embedded. Transsion’s Tecno, Infinix and Itel handset brands generated 215.3 million shipments in 2018, leading the Africa market with a 48.7% market share, according to technology research group IDC. It was followed by Samsung Electronics Co. which held 10.27% and HMD Global OY with 6.78%.

The Shenzhen company raised 4.6 billion yuan in an initial public offering (IPO) last week on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR Market, China’s new high-tech board. It has obtained 630 patents and 286 computing software copyrights in China, according to its IPO prospectus, far behind rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi, each of which has more than 100,000 patents.

In the lawsuit, Huawei alleged that it owns the copyright for a wallpaper artwork design preinstalled on Transsion’s devices and that the defendant used the design in its product release conference, web page display and advertisements in violation of Huawei’s copyright, according to Transsion.

Huawei requested that Transsion stop using the infringed pictures on its products and asked for 20 million yuan in compensation for economic losses. That amount would be less than 0.2% of the company’s revenue for the first six months of 2019, Transsion said in the statement.

If Transsion loses the lawsuit, replacement of the pictures on its devices is not expected to affect sales of the company’s cell phones, and the case will not seriously affect future operations, the company said.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)

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