With the advent of the 5G era, various new technology patents continue to emerge. While focusing on technology research and development, we should also focus on intellectual property protection. Recently, two former ZTE engineers were sentenced for allegedly infringing on trade secrets. This is also the first domestic intellectual property infringement case involving 5G technology.
According to Nanfang Daily, two former engineers, Huang Mouyu and Wang Mou, were both sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for four years, and fined 150,000 yuan for allegedly infringing on trade secrets. The two defendants pleaded guilty and did not appeal.
Among them, Huang Mouyu worked in ZTE Corporation from 2002 to January 2017, and held positions such as RF engineer and wireless architect; Wang Mou worked in ZTE Corporation Xi’an from April 2008 to October 2016 Research Institute, served as RRU department R&D engineer and other positions.
The case can be traced back to 6 years ago. It is reported that Huang Mouyu accepted the technology outsourcing project of a research institute’s 5G active antenna prototype in 2014, and signed 4 contracts with the above-mentioned research institute, the contract amount is as high as 2.35 million Yuan. Wang was responsible for the technical implementation of the project. After the research and development was completed, a 5G active antenna prototype and related technical documents were delivered to the research institute in stages. The identification showed that the technical documents delivered by Wang were identical with those of ZTE Corporation, and belonged to the technical information strictly confidential of ZTE Corporation. The estimated value of these information was RMB 4.3 million.
In June 2019, the Shenzhen Nanshan District Procuratorate brought a public prosecution to the court against Huang Mouyu and Wang Mou for allegedly infringing on trade secrets. In December of the same year, the Nanshan District Court of Shenzhen sentenced the defendants Huang Mouyu and Wang Mou to the crime of infringing trade secrets, and both were sentenced to three years in prison, four years of probation, and a fine of RMB 150,000. The two defendants pleaded guilty and did not appeal.
Within the law, human feelings depend on. According to the procuratorate’s understanding and ZTE’s feedback, Huang Mouyu made a great contribution to the company during his work, and he did not use ZTE’s technology after leaving to start a business. As long as Huang Mouyu pleads guilty and repents and compensates for the loss, the company is willing to forgive him. After coordinating with ZTE Corporation, Huang Mouyu and Wang Mou pleaded guilty and repented and compensated ZTE for the loss, and obtained the company’s understanding.
In the 5G era, ZTE actively develops its layout
As we all know, 2019 is also known as the first year of 5G in my country. ZTE, as a well-known communication manufacturer in China, is actively planning for 5G business.
(Data sourced from ZTE’s 2019 Annual Report)
In the 2019 annual report released by ZTE, ZTE achieved an operating income of 90.737 billion yuan in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 6.11% to 85.513 billion yuan in 2018; net profit was 7.552 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.11%. The loss in 2018 was 612 million yuan, an increase of 1134.02%.
The reason for such a large loss in 2018 is well known to everyone. In the “Announcement on the Progress of Major Events and Resumption of Trading” issued by ZTE on June 12, 2019, it was also mentioned that the loss was mainly due to the US embargo. Operating losses and accrued losses caused by the blocking incident, as well as the subsequent $1 billion fine.
(Data sourced from ZTE’s 2019 Annual Report)
According to ZTE’s announcement, the company is committed to providing customers with satisfactory ICT products and solutions. The products are mainly related to the communication equipment manufacturing industry, focusing on the three major business areas of “operator network, government and enterprise business, and consumer business”.
In terms of operator network, ZTE’s 5G RAN, core network, transmission and other products have fully entered the leader quadrant, and its competitiveness has been further enhanced. In the field of wireless products, ZTE has also stepped into the first camp of 5G industrialization, continued to innovate in 5G technology and applications, and cooperated with more than 70 operators and more than 300 industry customers around the world in 5G business. 7nm 5G chips have been realized. Commercial. In the field of wired products, self-developed core dedicated chips with high integration, high performance and low power consumption were launched to enhance the competitiveness of wired products. The cumulative shipments of PON, FTTx, and 100G optical transmission networks ranked second in the world; video and energy In the product field, based on the company’s original technical foundations such as video encoding and decoding, access, transmission, and storage, a full range of products including video conferencing, video IoT, and cloud computing have become new growth points for operators’ network services in the 5G era.
In terms of government and corporate affairs, it focuses on the four traditional markets of energy, transportation, government affairs and finance. In June 2019, the “Double Hundred Thousand Plan” was released to provide customized industry solutions for 100 cities, 1000 districts, and 100 top 1000 enterprises to help customers achieve digital transformation. The company’s self-developed core products such as servers, videoconferencing, data communication, databases, and operating systems have also been widely used. The distributed database has been officially launched in the core business of large banks, and the application field of self-developed operating systems has continued to expand.
In terms of consumer business, it involves mobile phones, data cards, in-vehicle terminals, home information terminals, and fixed-line broadband terminals. Among them, there is no doubt about the development of 5G mobile phones in China. ZTE has long-term and in-depth cooperative relations with upstream device manufacturers and downstream operators in the industry chain, and has maintained a global leading position in the industry for a long time.
In terms of domestic and foreign markets, adhere to a positive and stable business strategy and expand new growth space. In addition to doing well in the construction of the original 4G-related business, at the same time grasp the 5G opportunity time window, firmly increase market share, continue to expand revenue, and continuously increase customers satisfaction.
It is not difficult to see from ZTE’s annual report that the keyword “5G” has covered all aspects of the company’s business. As the core strategy of ZTE’s development, 5G has continued to invest and innovate for many years. It already has a complete 5G end-to-end. The capability of the solution has been fully prepared for commercial use in wireless, core network, bearer, chip, terminal and industry applications.
The first quarter financial report reflects the impact of the epidemic
The rapid development of the domestic 5G industry in 2019 makes people also optimistic about 2020, but the unexpected outbreak of new coronary pneumonia has brought the originally popular 5G industry to a freezing point: equipment manufacturing plants are shut down, offline stores are closed, and the new coronary pneumonia epidemic has brought the communication industry to a standstill. The short-term impact is also starting to show up in earnings reports.
(Data sourced from ZTE’s 2019 Annual Report)
On the evening of April 24, ZTE released its financial report for the first quarter of 2020. The financial report shows that the company achieved operating income of 21.484 billion yuan during the first quarter of the reporting period (January-March 2020), a year-on-year decrease of 3.2%. %; net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders of the listed company after deducting non-recurring gains and losses was 160 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 20.5%; net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders of the listed company was 780 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 780 million yuan Down 9.6%.
According to the proportion of domestic and foreign business in ZTE’s 2019 annual report, the company’s business in China and outside China accounted for 64.16% and 35.84% respectively, and overseas business accounted for more than 1/3, which is not a small proportion. Judging from the current development of the global new crown pneumonia epidemic, there are more than 1.8 million confirmed cases outside China, and the cumulative number of confirmed cases exceeds 2.8 million. The spread of the epidemic is not optimistic. The severity of the overseas epidemic has also greatly affected the overseas business development of domestic manufacturers.
(The data comes from the Baidu epidemic real-time big data report)
ZTE Corporation stated in the announcement that in the face of the epidemic in the first quarter, ZTE Corporation prioritized protecting the health of its employees and ensuring normal services to global customers. Partners are actively fighting the epidemic, using digital platforms to help resume work and production in an orderly manner, and actively promoting business progress related to “new infrastructure”. The business remained stable in the first quarter.
With the rise of the new infrastructure wave, the protection of intellectual property rights of 5G technology is more important
This year, with the rise of the concept of “new infrastructure” in China, 5G has become one of the most important development areas under the wave of new infrastructure. my country attaches great importance to the construction of 5G infrastructure. As a new generation of mobile communication technology, 5G has technical characteristics such as higher speed, shorter delay and greater connection than 4G. It focuses on supporting enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable and low-latency communication and massive Three types of application scenarios for machine communication.
With the accelerated commercialization of 5G, the global communications industry will usher in the development of the entire industrial chain of “chips, devices, networks, terminals, business and services”, and the importance of 5G technology is self-evident.
In terms of 5G patents, global manufacturers are competing for each other. According to a joint study by the Technical University of Berlin and the German Intellectual Property Research Corporation, Huawei is currently the company with the largest number of 5G patents in the world, with a total of 3,147 5G patents, followed by Samsung. Electronics, with a total of 2,795 5G patents, ranked third with ZTE with 2,561 5G patents. From this point of view, my country occupies 2 of the top three 5G patents.
As far as my country’s current 5G development is concerned, on the one hand, countries around the world are actively seizing the high ground for 5G construction and promoting the large-scale deployment of 5G commercial use; The suppression will adversely affect the internationalization of my country’s 5G products.
For ZTE, the intellectual property protection of 5G technology patents is not only a prerequisite for accumulating technology and developing business, but also affected by “learning from the past” to avoid the United States making a fuss about technology patents in the future; for my country, In order for 5G patented technology to be more transformed and applied, it is necessary to further strengthen the intellectual property protection of 5G patented technology, so as to have more voice and international influence in the future.