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China's ZTE and Huawei Join the German Patent Fray 34

Posted by timothy
from the howdy-euch dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Germany has pretty much become the new Eastern District of Texas, the world's most popular patent battleground. After Apple, Samsung and Motorola, the Chinese are now going to Germany as well to sort out their domestic patent squabbles. Huawei and ZTE, arguably the People's Republic's leading wireless tech companies, started suing each other in April last year. On Friday the Mannheim Regional Court held a Huawei vs. ZTE hearing, reports a local patent watcher. Huawei says ZTE infringes a 4G/LTE handover patent and wants its rival's base stations and USB modem sticks banned in Germany. More clashes between the two are coming up in the same court and in other places in Europe, including France."
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China's ZTE and Huawei Join the German Patent Fray

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  • by Aereus (1042228) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @04:20AM (#42306211)

    Anyone else find it ironic that Huawei is going after another firm for infringement after the number of articles about Huawei stealing and/or reverse-engineering competitors equipment in order to compete with them?

    • by houghi (78078) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @05:48AM (#42306371)

      No, I do not find it ironic. All steal. All reverse-engineer. All sue.
      One solution to all of this. Get rid of patents or at least see to it that they are reshaped so that they protect the individuals, not the companies.
      e.g Dyson [wikipedia.org] is somebody who these things are intended for. I am talking about is vacuum cleaner.
      Now the bladeless fan [wikipedia.org] is another matter and he should NOT get the patent for that,

      • by Aereus (1042228) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @06:18AM (#42306431)

        Yes, but do you notice how the Chinese companies didn't start producing their own bladeless fans until AFTER Dyson had popularized it and sold a physical product? Yes, it's not a cut and dry case with companies as concerns lookalike products. But clearly Chinese firms are amongst the most unapologetic and blatant copycats on the world market. They wait for other companies to do the R&D, then leech off the public demand for said products while hiding behind the shield of poor/non-existent IP laws in China.

        There's a big reason they're suing them in Germany and not China: They know it would be useless to attempt it in Chinese courts. It's the same reason the RIAA/MPAA don't bother prosecuting all the blatant infringement that goes on in China.

        • Well I am glad. Just imagine if all the chinese stuff I am buying AVOIDED patents. I would be stuck in the stone age! Zhong Guo shi hen hao!

          • by udippel (562132)

            Come on, that's simply apologetic. If the chinese companies didn't steal ideas and avoided patents, nobody would ever buy any of their products. And why didn't you write your last sentence about 'China being good' in English?

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Yes, but do you notice how the Chinese companies didn't start producing their own bladeless fans until AFTER Dyson had popularized it and sold a physical product? Yes, it's not a cut and dry case with companies as concerns lookalike products. But clearly Chinese firms are amongst the most unapologetic and blatant copycats on the world market. They wait for other companies to do the R&D, then leech off the public demand for said products while hiding behind the shield of poor/non-existent IP laws in Chin

      • by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @06:42AM (#42306481)
        Patents shouldn't protect individuals either. We need to get away from this idea of the sole genius who discovers something, that if he hadn't been born it would never have been discovered by anyone.

        Newton said it best "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." He also _experienced_ this first hand when Leibniz discovered the calculus independently.

      • From the wikipedia article Dyson's patent doesn't seem to actually be for a bladeless fan, but for a bladeless fan with a fluid dynamics trick involving an airfoil.

        Although it probably is, the concept of a bladeless fan might well not be practical without Dyson's additional innovation. The original fan was never mass-produced after all.
  • Who screwed up? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @04:27AM (#42306229)

    ZTE is state owned. Huawei is officially private, but the Chinese government is still certainly a major influence on the company, enough that the US government is concerned about espionage. This is akin to the time Fox News threatened sue another Fox division over a parody of their copyrighted ticker style. Except in the Fox case, someone higher up the chain quickly took notice and told the offending executive to knock it off and play nice with their ally before it went to court.

  • Those Chinese... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarAve (513675) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @04:34AM (#42306249)

    They're even copying our frivolous patent lawsuits now! They learn quick...

  • Maybe the world wouldnt be so bad without patents.Discuss.
    • Patents are not a fundamentally bad idea - they encourage research. Some new technology costs so much to develop that it just won't happen without some way to ensure a return on investment. Drug development, for example. The problem is that the patent system as it currently exists is terribly broken. Patents are ridiculously easy to get over even the most trivial things, to the point that it's almost impossible to work in technology without infringing on something, and when a patent case can easily involve

      • by udippel (562132)

        I'd give you +10 if I could. You are almost spot on: The system was actually created not for the return, but to protect the single, private inventor from the larger companies; so that (s)he was encouraged to invent. Look at the american system: The designee of a patent is still the inventor, while in Europe it is the company.
        Though, over the years, the companies have found their own ways to turn around the system by actually preventing innovation on the outside.

        And, while hoping not to confuse the general p

  • Two companies from the same foreign country suing each other for patents? Tell them to fuck off and sort it out in their own court.

  • The reason is quite simple: German law does not allow for the prior art defense. Even when the accused party can prove that the patent is invalid due to prior art, it is nevertheless found guilty of infringement. AFAIK this is a speciality of German patent jurisdiction that makes it very attractive to sue in Germany (more precisely: in Duesseldorf) for patent infringement.

  • Summary godwined in first sentence.

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