Chinese Phone Makers Could Risk Intellectual Property Disputes
The China’s smartphone industry are probably at risk of becoming deeply embroiled in intellectual property disputes since many key patents used are currently held by international corporations like Microsoft and Google. In 2005, foreign phone manufacturers occupied about half of the Chinese market, however in 2011, of 455 million handsets delivered in China, 72 percent was produced by local makers. However, experts have warned Chinese phone vendors that they could be hit by intellectual property rights charges. A report issued by a branch of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed that in 2011, 110 smartphones were shipped by Chinese vendors.
As of today, China is the biggest producer of mobile devices. About 1.13 billion mobile devices were produced in 2011 and many of them are tablets and smartphones. Domestic brands like Lenovo Group Ltd, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE Corp. made huge progress in mobile phone production. Last year, ZTE’s mobile phone division generated more than $4 billion (27 billion yuan). Chinese phone manufacturers are gradually squeezing the market share of manufacturers in other countries. Despite their huge production level, Chinese phone makers still don’t actively invest in acquiring patents as a way to curb competitions and prevent lawsuits on IP infringements.
Experts also said that a quick overview on phones produced by Chinese manufacturers, shows that they may infringe designs of overseas phone vendors, not key technologies.
Currently, big names in the tech industry such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Motorola and Oracle are still battling one another in courtrooms and once these disputes are settled, phone makers in China could be their next targets.