On August 30, 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Justice probed Huawei on alleged theft of smartphone-camera patents. These allegations are false. Huawei would like to issue the following clarifications regarding these claims, as well as recent probes by the US government mentioned in the Wall Street Journal's report:
On May 28, 2014, representatives from Huawei's US subsidiary met with Mr. Rui Pedro Oliveira per his request. At the meeting, Mr. Oliveira pitched his camera design, which he alleged to have U.S. patent pending, to Huawei. Huawei was not interested in his product and no further contact was made.
Four years later, beginning in April 2018 and continuing through March 2019, Mr. Oliveira began e-mailing Huawei, claiming that the EnVizion360 camera, independently designed and developed by Huawei, had infringed his US patents. In his e-mails, he repeatedly issued threats, saying that if Huawei did not pay an extortionate amount of money, he would go to the media and exert pressure through political channels.
Huawei categorically rejects Mr. Oliveira's claims of patent infringement, and has provided detailed documents in support of its stance (see visual comparisons of the two products below as example). Nevertheless, Mr. Oliveira proceeded to feed a false narrative to the media in an attempt to tarnish Huawei's reputation. He made further efforts to exert pressure on Huawei through senior government officials, trying to make the company cede to his demands and hand over large sums of money.
On March 26, 2019, in order to defend the company's reputation and protect its legitimate rights and interests, Huawei filed a complaint against Mr. Oliveira before US court for a declaration of non-infringement of Mr. Oliveira's U.S. patents. This is a normal civil procedure. However, Mr. Oliveira declined to accept the service of Huawei’s complaint and summons, resulting in delaying of the court proceedings.
It's clear that Mr. Oliveira is taking advantage of the current geopolitical situation. He is pushing a false narrative through the media in an attempt to capitalize on a dispute. This type of behavior should not be encouraged, nor should it be considered rational justification for a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice.
For the past several months, the US government has been leveraging its political and diplomatic influence to lobby other governments to ban Huawei equipment. Furthermore, it has been using every tool at its disposal – including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means – to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners. These include:
Huawei has invested heavily in R&D for more than 30 years. We have more than 180,000 hard-working employees around the globe. We have won the trust and support of our customers, suppliers, and partners.
This is the source of our company's success. No company becomes a global leader in their field through theft.
Appendix: Comparison of Oliveira's design patent and Huawei's EnVizion 360 camera