Just As We Warned: A Chinese Tech Giant Goes On The Patent Attack -- In East Texas

from the we-don't-want-to-say-'we-told-you-so',-but... dept

Techdirt has been warning for years that the West's repeated demands for China to "respect" patents could backfire badly. In 2010, Mike pointed out that Chinese companies were starting to amass huge patent portfolios, which were soon used as weapons against foreign firms operating in China, most notably Apple. In another 2010 post, Mike wrote the following:

Huawei, the Chinese networking giant, has taken over the lead as filing the most international patents of any company. Just wait until American companies, whose execs complained about China "not respecting intellectual property," start getting sued in East Texas for violating Huawei's patents.
And guess what? That is exactly what has just happened, as The Wall Street Journal reports:
Huawei Technologies Co. said it has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile US Inc., alleging the U.S. telecommunications carrier violated the Chinese company’s patents related to wireless networks.

In its complaint filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei said T-Mobile is using its patented technology without signing a licensing agreement.
There is an uncanny closeness between those two stories, even though six years separate them. In part, of course, that's because of Mike's ability to spot trends well ahead of others (no, he didn't tell me to write that...) But it's also down to the fact that this trend was really obvious to anyone who was able to consider the situation dispassionately. Sadly, that seems to exclude most of the people demanding that fast-growing economies around the world should start to "respect" patents.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 4:14am

    What is the betting that the US gov suddenly takes an interest in cleaning up patent trolling in East Texas as a matter of priority? Either that or foreign companies find that East Texas isn't friendly except for local?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vincent Clement (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:41am

      Re:

      So long as the patent lawsuits are filed, East Texas doesn't care where you are from. Is Samsung a local company?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      It is ridiculous that a Chinese company has chosen to file a patent dispute against a company with headquarters in Washington in East Texas. Should give you reason to pause ...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      the US government could always pass a law forbidding foreign corporations from suing in the US. That is the sort of arrogance I expect from them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Saiph, 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:00am

    ...six years separate them

    Considering most executives really only care about the next quarter, what happens six years later is of no concern to them. They make their fast money and bail out before the repercussions hit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:06am

    Abolish IP

    The idea of owning ideas is absurd and corrupt. Abolish IP.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Éibhear, 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:28am

    Huawei will honour Mike

    On the wall in the Huawei HQ, in the corridor leading to the main board-room, there hangs a 12' picture of Mike, honouring him as the inspiration for the bold and soon-to-be lucrative move.

    "...that's because of Mike's ability to spot trends well ahead of others (no, he didn't tell me to write that...)"

    Next to Mike's portrait is a clear space with a small note reading: "Reserved for Glyn's portrait, to be commissioned when his potential is realised."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:42am

    Now we'll probably get some congressional action (and even more grandstanding).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Avideogameplayer, 21 Jul 2016 @ 5:56am

    What's that saying? 'Live by the sword...'

    That's probably patented too...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 6:16am

    The biggest news is KAT shutting down because of Facebook and Apple, two shitty companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 7:06am

    TD has been warning about it in multiple fronts for years now. I was eagerly waiting for this. Now American companies engaged in these disputes among themselves will have to deal with the external barrage from China and possibly elsewhere. Kick back and watch the show folks, let's see if the deep pockets will save them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lord Lidl of Cheem (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 7:30am

    Halford, fetch me my slightly larger told-you-so pants...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 8:28am

    We will break you at home, we will break you in the South China Sea. Bless China and her industrious people. Largest Telescope, most powerful supercomputer. Kow Tow to your superior westerner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 21 Jul 2016 @ 9:17am

    Yawn

    East Texas is a backwater place where the people constituting the juries and also the judges know which side they want to see their bread buttered on. Yes, the procedural simplifications of East Texas will also benefit the Chinese, so they'll lose cheaper and faster.

    The juries there might view favorably having a few well-sponsored taco bars opening for business. But wok joints? Not interested. I think that this experiment will not get a whole lot of repetitions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Yawn

      Do you know how long I've been looking for some decent Yakisoba? If it takes some Chinese execs to abuse our IP laws to satisfy my noodle craving I say welcome to the US.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 21 Jul 2016 @ 9:28am

    *heads to the TD store to buy TD brand E-popcorn*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shilling, 21 Jul 2016 @ 10:27am

    Don't worry. It's only T-Mobile us. As soon as Verizon or Comcast are hit laws will change.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stosh, 21 Jul 2016 @ 11:37am

    Problem: With many major international companies involved it can take years and many appeals to decide anything, and they turn the law into a pretzel.

    Solution: Force the CEOs of the companies to compete in a WWF steel cage match, winner take all. Pay Per View could even turn a profit and the results would make as much sense as some of the court proceedings....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2016 @ 3:32pm

    Actually the real end game is when they sue a US company in China, rather than Texas. But once that happens, it's already too late.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Monday (profile), 22 Jul 2016 @ 9:53am

    And Trump just doubled-down...

    And Trump just doubled-down... as of last night, during his speech. He stated that he was firmly committed to going after those Chinese for "[...] stealing American intellectual property."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.