Changing Business Models: Huawei Makes a Surprising Announcement, or, The Changing Role of Patents in the Global Economy
CIPA Journal, Volume 48, number 10 (2019)
3 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 1, 2019
On 12 September 2019, Th e Economist published a report of an interview it held with Mr Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei1. The report contained a surprising announcement: Huawei is apparently willing to sell its 5G technology to a Western buyer. “For a one-time fee”, says the report, “a transaction would give the buyer perpetual access to Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints and production know-how”.
The sale of the 5G patent portfolio – apparently accompanied by an extensive transfer of know-how – would leave the buyer “free to use it outside China and develop the technology as it sees fi t”. In the US, “the buyer would face no competition from Huawei” because the company does not operate there, while “in other countries the two would go head to head”. That’s a very interesting twist in the global strife over 5G dominance which will is analyzed more closely in this short contribution.
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