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Sorry, HUAWEI: Samsung can still make and sell phones in China

The HUAWEI vs. Samsung trial resulted in a HUAWEI win in January, but Samsung has yet to comply to the Chinese court orders.

Published onApril 18, 2018

The Samsung logo.
  • The HUAWEI vs. Samsung trial resulted in a HUAWEI win in January, but Samsung has yet to comply with the Chinese court orders.
  • Now, a San Francisco judge ruled that Samsung doesn’t have to comply with the Chinese production ban until further notice.
  • It looks like this years-long HUAWEI vs. Samsung drama is going to continue for a little while longer.

Back in January, we updated you on the Huawei vs. Samsung patent infringement lawsuit. The big news was that a Chinese court found in favor of HUAWEI in that dispute.

The patent infringement had to do with Samsung using HUAWEI’s cellular technology and software patents in various Samsung devices, without paying HUAWEI the necessary licensing fees. Samsung denied any wrongdoing (as usual), but the court said that HUAWEI’s patents were indeed infringed upon, and Samsung would have to pay a fine and halt Chinese production and sales of the infringing devices.

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The outcome wasn’t too surprising, as HUAWEI is a Chinese company accusing a foreign company of wrongdoing in a Chinese court. It would have been more surprising if China didn’t side with HUAWEI, no matter what charges were on the table.

Of course, Samsung appealed the ruling, which allowed the company to delay having to halt production of the infringing products (the case did not divulge which devices were infringing HUAWEI’s patents). Now, via Bloomberg, a San Francisco judge ruled that Samsung doesn’t have to change any of its Chinese production or sales plans until further notice.

This means that Samsung is free to make and sell its products for the time being, regardless of what patents are used in those products.

One would assume that if Samsung is still using HUAWEI patents in those products, whatever financial punishment it receives when this trial is all over will only be exacerbated. However, if Samsung is confident it will eventually emerge victorious from the whole debacle, its continued transgressions will have no effect.

Curiously, HUAWEI wasn’t going after Samsung for financial damages in this trial. Instead, it wanted to broker an agreement to use Samsung technology in its own devices. Why these two giant companies can’t share amongst themselves without getting the courts involved is anyone’s guess.

So what now? For now, it’s business as usual for Samsung and HUAWEI until the legal red tape gets sorted out, which could take up to six months, according to The Recorder. Judge William Orrick III, the San Francisco judge who delivered today’s ruling, said, “The appropriate remedy for HUAWEI’s breach of contract claim may very well be the injunctive relief [determined by the Chinese court in January]. But I must have the opportunity to adjudicate that claim without Samsung facing the threat of the [Chinese] court injunctions.”

In other words, Judge Orrick wants to make sure nothing fishy is going on before Samsung is forced to disrupt its entire business.

NEXT: Samsung sued (again) for stealing from a smaller company (again)