Why IPR Is the Foundation of Innovation


March 29, 2021


As a technology company, respecting and protecting intellectual property is one of the core principles of our business.

We’re committed to open research and innovation. We welcome integration with advanced technologies across the global value chain, and we have the infrastructure in place to rapidly launch products and services with top quality and performance to meet our customers’ needs.

Huawei has become one of the world’s largest patent holders through sustained investment in innovation. By the end of 2020, we held over 100,000 active patents in more than 40,000 patent families worldwide. We invest 10% to 15% of our annual revenue into R&D, and have invested more than US$90 billion into R&D over the past 10 years. This sustained investment placed Huawei as number three on the 2020 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard.

Read more: Huawei Ranks 3rd in 2020 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard

Patent Licensing

We’re ready and willing to license our patents and technologies worldwide to drive progress in the industry. And as a leader in 5G, Huawei follows FRAND principles when it comes to patent licensing.

As announced earlier this month, we estimate that Huawei will receive about US$1.2-1.3 billion in revenue from patent licensing between 2019 and 2021. For every multi-mode 5G smartphone, we will provide a percentage royalty rate of the handset selling price, and a per unit royalty cap at US$2.5. Our standard rate is designed to give the industry a more transparent cost structure that will support 5G and digital transformation investment decisions moving forward.

Our hope is to boost investment confidence and drive the rapid adoption of 5G in all domains.

As well as protecting our own IP, we also believe in fully respecting the intellectual property of other parties. We comply with international rules and norms for IP management and protection, and endeavor to resolve IP disputes amicably through methods like cross-licensing and technical and business partnerships. Over the past 20 years, we’ve conducted extensive cross-licensing negotiations with key patent holders in the ICT industry. We have entered into more than 100 patent license and cross-license agreements with major global ICT companies across Europe, the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

A History of Innovation

In 2019, we released our first IP white paper, which outlines our principles and practices in innovation and IP protection, as well as our contributions to the industry as a whole. Now, we’ve released the 2020 white paper, which focuses on Huawei’s IP management prior to 2010 and uses historical data and key milestones to provide insight into Huawei’s approach to R&D and innovation since the 1990s.

We believe that studying the past can better inform future decisions. Long-term investment in innovation, backed by the utmost respect for intellectual property, has been the driving force behind Huawei’s business success, and also forms the cornerstone of our vision to build a fully connected, intelligent world.

Going forward, we will regularly announce progress in innovation and IP activities, and continue to proactively engage the public to keep you informed of our approach to innovation.

Download our white paper here: Respecting and Protecting Intellectual Property: The Foundation of Innovation

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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