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Huawei readies for FTC complaint against InterDigital

Chinese telecoms firm Huawei is set to complain to the US antitrust watchdog the FTC about InterDigital’s patent practices

Yesterday the US International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it would investigate a complaint lodged by US non-practising entity InterDigital against telecoms companies Huawei, Samsung, Nokia and ZTE. In doing so, it rejected a request from Samsung and Huawei to delay proceedings while the US courts considered the dispute.

In its January 2 complaint, InterDigital accused the companies of infringing its patent rights in a series of smartphone and computer devices with wireless technologies and asked the ITC to stop the products being imported into the country.

InterDigital’s action is part of a long-running dispute with telecoms companies in the US and Europe.

Now Huawei’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, has told Managing IP that the company plans to complain to the Federal Trade Commission about InterDigital’s licensing practices. But he declined to reveal when it would make its complaint.

Song compared the use of competition rules in China with those overseas.“There are many IP antitrust cases in the EU and the US to restrict the misuse of monopoly power. There are similar legal stipulations in China but far fewer cases,” he said.

In May last year, Huawei filed a complaint against InterDigital with the European Commission, alleging that the company had been trying to leverage its declared 3G standard essential patents to force Huawei to conclude a discriminatory, unfair and exploitative licence in breach of FRAND licensing practices.

InterDigital is being advised by Latham & Watkins in the US. Covington & Burling is acting for Huawei.

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