Huawei announced a batch of key inventions as part of its biennial “Top Ten Inventions” awards at the “Broadening the Innovation Landscape 2022” forum held at its Shenzhen headquarters.
The award is designed to recognize inventions that could create new series of products, become significant commercial features of existing products, or generate significant value for the company and industry.
The winning inventions range from an adder neural network that drastically reduces power consumption and circuit area to a revolutionary “optical iris” that provides a unique identifier for fiber optics. It is designed to help operators manage their network resources, reducing the time and costs associated with deploying broadband.
The announcement came against the backdrop of intellectual property rights, the protection and sharing of which Huawei says is essential to the tech ecosystem.
“Protecting intellectual property is key to safeguarding innovation,” said Huawei Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping. “We look forward to licensing our patents and technologies to share our innovations with the world. This will help broaden the innovation landscape, advance our industry and advance technology for all,” he added.
“Huawei is constantly evolving and constantly showing the world the value of intellectual property from China,” said Tian Lipu, president of the China chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
At the end of 2021, Huawei held over 110,000 active patents in over 45,000 patent families. It has more patents granted than any other Chinese company, filed the most patent applications with the EU Patent Office, and ranked fifth in terms of new patents granted in the United States. For five consecutive years, Huawei has ranked No. 1 globally in patent cooperation treaty applications.
Alan Fan, head of Huawei’s IPR department, said the value of Huawei’s patents is widely recognized in the industry, especially in common standards such as cellular technology, Wi-Fi and audio/video codecs.
“Over the past five years, more than two billion smartphones have been licensed under Huawei’s 4G/5G patents. And for cars, about eight million connected vehicles licensed from Huawei patents are delivered to consumers every year,” Fan said.
Huawei is also actively working with patent licensing administration companies to provide “one-stop” licensing for popular standards.
“More than 260 companies, representing one billion devices, have obtained Huawei’s HEVC patent licenses through a patent pool,” Fan said. He added that the company was in talks to establish a new patent pool to give the industry “early access” to Huawei’s patents for Wi-Fi devices worldwide.
Huawei is also discussing joint licensing programs for 5G patents with licensing experts and other leading patent holders.
Liu Hua, Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization China Office, praised Huawei’s strong focus on innovation, saying, “We look forward to seeing Huawei continue to compete in the high-level global competition. with innovation at the heart of its activities.
For Manuel Desantes, former vice-president of the European Patent Office, given the great number of changes in the world these days, what matters most is no longer the number of patents or inventions filed. “The intellectual property system should ensure that the creations worth protecting are those that provide real value,” he said.
This was Huawei’s third innovation and IP-themed event on its innovation practices. Every year, Huawei invests more than 10% of its revenue in R&D.
In terms of R&D expenditure, Huawei ranked second in the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scorecard in 2021. In 2021, the company increased its R&D investment to CNY 142.7 billion, which represents 22.4% of our total turnover. Over the past decade, Huawei’s total R&D investment has exceeded 845 billion yuan.