Infinix, Tecno and iTel, known for their budget smartphones, are owned by a Shenzhen based firm called Transsion holdings. The company, mainly known for its dominance in the African market, is being sued by Huawei over alleged copyright and intellectual property infringement.
According to a source, the case is not egregious since the claim is not large, but it is “a symbolic slap in the face from Huawei during a sensitive time for Transsion”.
The lawsuit was filed in the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court and was accepted on 23rd September. The legal battle has surfaced just ahead of the company’s listing in the Shanghai stock exchange.
Under its Tecno brand, Transsion is a top smartphone vendor in Africa and a number of its phones used Huawei’s loading screen images.
The main reason behind this is that Transsion, along with its subsidiaries, lags far behind its rivals in the number of patents and copyrights. It has only obtained 630 patents and 286 computer software copyrights to its name. Huawei, on the other hand, owns 100,000 patents, Oppo has over 38,000 patents and Vivo has 10,000 patents.
Patents are quite significant when it comes to smartphone internationalization and can be more important than the products itself. In the wake of the situation, Transsion’s founder and chairman Zhu Zhaojiang, as quoted by the Yicai report said, “I believe that the law would give a fair answer”.
Huawei has, however, declined to comment on the matter while Transsion has made a statement that its IPO will not be affected due to the lawsuit.
As Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Vivo are trying to capture unsaturated markets like Africa, it’s time Transsion starts investing in R&D and patent development.