The irony of intellectual property

A  Chinese court sentenced Samsung to pay more than 7 USD million in fines for … patent infringement. A court in Hangzhou ordered the Korean manufacturer to compensate Holley Communications because Samsung’s dual-mode mobile phone, which operates both CDMA and GSM networks, violates a patent held by the Chinese firm.

The lawsuit is the biggest case in China’s telecommunication history. It is also quite new to have Chinese firms suing competitors for patent infringement, something they were often themselves accused of. Moreover it is surprising that it comes from a virtually unknown player in the telecommunication market. One may have expected such a claim from Huawei or ZTE since they have invested massively into R&D over the last decade and now rank among the world’s top telecommunication equipment manufacturers.