SEOUL: Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday it sued Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for patent infringements through multiple courts in China, escalating a legal conflict between the smartphone rivals. The lawsuit, filed in Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court, seeks damages of 161 million Chinese yuan ($24.1 million), alleging that some of Huawei’s smartphones, including its Mate8 smartphone and its Honor-branded lineup of handsets, infringed on Samsung’s patents.
The lawsuit also calls on the court to block Huawei and another company, Beijing Hengtongda Department Store Co., from producing or selling the devices, according to a court document. It comes two months after Huawei, a telecommunications-equipment maker that has quickly gained ground competing with Samsung on smartphones, first filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging the South Korean electronics maker infringed on a number of patents covering mobile devices and cellular-communications technology.
The May lawsuit, which Huawei filed against Samsung in the U.S. and China, was the first major legal challenge from a Chinese rival against Samsung, the world’s No. 1 maker of smartphones by sales volume. In a statement Friday, Samsung said it had “faithfully negotiated with other patent holders for the fair licensing of technology.” In this case, however, it added: “Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property.”
A Huawei spokesman said the company hasn’t received a formal complaint. “We will review any documentation and defend ourselves as appropriate when we do. In the absence of a negotiated settlement, litigation is often an efficient way to resolve [intellectual property rights] disputes.”
The lawsuit and countersuit come as Huawei increasingly emerges as the main rival to Samsung, particularly in the world of smartphones running Android, the dominant mobile operating system owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google. In the first three months of the year, Huawei sold more smartphones to end consumers than any other Android maker except for Samsung, accounting for 8.3% of the market, up from 5.4% a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner. Over that same period, Samsung’s market share slipped to 23.2%, down from 24.1% a year earlier.