Hon Hai Sues Japanese Firms over Alleged Patent Infringement

27 Jun

The U.K.-based Financial Times reported on June 25 that Taiwan’ Hon Hai Precision Industry, trading as Foxconn Technology Group, filed a lawsuit against Toshiba Corporation, Funai Electric Company, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for infringement of patents that cover flat screen display applied in televisions, monitors, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.

The lawsuit was filed in the Delaware district court in the United States.

According to the IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, a leading producer of global patent databases and analytic solutions as well as a division of the Fairview Research, Hon Hai was granted 2,279 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2013, the only Taiwanese firm that made it to the top-ten list in number of U.S. patent approval.

Its ranking last year was higher than that of Google (11th) and Apple Inc. (13th). Hon Hai was in the eighth place in 2012 and was the only Taiwanese company that made it to the top-50 in 2011.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on June 25 that Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said at a shareholders’ meeting that his company was discussing about OEM cooperation for smartphones with photo-editing app developer Xiamen Meitu Technology Co. Ltd., whose Meitu Xiu Xiu has drawn large popularity in China.

Last year, Meitu Technology rolled out two Android phones that were each priced at about 2,000 yuan (US$324).

Gou also revealed that Hon Hai is making a smartphone model which is designed for  e-commerce. Sources said that Amazon’s latest smartphone Fire Phone is assembled by Hon Hai.

In a report by Japanese Nikkei Asian Review in September last year, market research firm Seed Planning Inc. estimated that 56 percent, or 4 billion, of the global population are smartphone users in 2017. At present, at least 100 million Chinese residents are users of more than 10 smartphone apps, including Meitu Xiu Xiu.

According to Amazon’s sales rank for contracted smartphones, Amazon’s Fire Phone (32GB; AT&T) tops best-seller list while Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (black; 16GB; Verizon Wireless) takes the second spot, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (16GB; Sprint), and Amazon’s Fire Phone (64GB; AT&T).

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