8:49 pm - Sunday July 25, 2021

Huawei sues Infinix & Tecno for IP theft in China

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Shenzhen Transsion holdings might not be a very familiar name for most smartphone users here. So, if this name is not ringing a bell, how about Tecno, Infinix Mobile or iTel? I’m sure many of you may have heard at least one of these brands before and if you didn’t know, they are all owned by Transsion. The company made its debut at the STAR Market (Nasdaq style board for tech stocks by Shanghai stock exchange) earlier today but just before its IPO, Huawei slapped a lawsuit against Transsion in China.

Huawei sued Transsion in a local court in Shenzhen China, where both these companies are based. The lawsuit is specifically for IP theft and concerns Transsion and five of its subsidiaries. The local court has reportedly accepted the lawsuit, so we should hear more about this in the coming weeks.

Intellectual Property (IP) Rights are very important for any smartphone company. However, Transsion doesn’t have a lot of patents under its belt. The company reportedly has only 630 patents and 286 computer software copyrights to its name in China, which is minuscule as compared to competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi which have over 100,000 patents individually.

So how did Transsion become the largest smartphone vendor in China with such a small number of patents?

The company basically established its dominance in Africa with extremely cheap smartphones that rely on old technologies like 2G whose patents have expired. Its Tecno, iTel, and Infinix brands all individually rank within the top 5 vendors in the African smartphone market. But as competitors like Xiaomi and Huawei are expanding its presence in the African continent, IP rights are going to be very important for Transsion. Also, Africa is slowly modernizing with technologies like 3G and 4G, which will force Transsion to improve its IPR position in the region.

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