It’s been a rocky six months for Samsung. It’s Galaxy Note 7 was cancelled late last year, then its boss was arrested, and now, a Chinese court has ordered it to pay 80 million Yuan (~$11.60 million) to Huawei for patent infringement.
According to Reuters, Huawei sued a total of five companies in China, three of Samsung’s and two Chinese electronics companies, for “making and selling more than 20 kinds of Samsung smartphone and tablet products” that infringed its patents. The five firms have now been ordered to stop infringing Huawei’s copyrights, and Samsung must pay the damages.
Huawei sought compensation for more than “30 million products” that sold for “$12.7 billion,” said Reuters. The Galaxy S7 is believed to be among them.
Reuters didn’t detail the intricacies of the infringement in its most recent report, but when Huawei launched the suit last year, Reuters said that Huawei wanted compensation for “unlicensed use of fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software in Samsung phones.”
A Huawei spokesperson told Reuters it “welcomed the court’s decision,” while Samsung said it would “decide on the response to the court’s decision after reviewing the ruling.”
Ultimately, this appears to be a very small win for Huawei: I mean, what’s $11 million to Samsung? Its IT and mobile unit posted KRW 23.61 trillion, around $21 billion, in consolidated revenue for 2016, which the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge made a significant contribution to. If Samsung is being penalized $11 million to have achieved the huge sales figures its products did, it seems like good business.
What’s more, that figure pales in comparison to the up to $548.2 million it may have to pay Apple in June as that long-running US patent dispute draws to a close. Half a billion dollars would be considerably more troubling.