If you’re tired of seeing all the patent lawsuit stories that pop up on Android Community, imagine how tired we are of writing them. We’re not alone, and a group of Chinese manufacturers is reportedly joining forces to fight off the legal bulldogs from Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and the like. DigiTimes reports that Lenovo, ZTE and smaller manufacturers TCL, Coolpad and Konka have formed an alliance to jointly defend against corporate patent trolls in the huge and growing Chinese smartphone market.
Thus far none of the above have been seriously affected by patent litigation, since Apple and Microsoft are more interested in shutting down the bigger players (or at least making them pay). HTC, Samsung and Motorola have all been hit, with varying degrees of damage, and even smaller players like Asus, Acer and Barnes & Noble have been scorched in the Android patent wars. It appears that as the Chinese manufacturers turn their sights towards the global market, they’re ready and willing to put up a fight to the American giants who wish to profit from Android without contributing.
An interesting omission in the report is Huawei, a Chinese OEM that’s been betting big on Android and winning, for the most part. Devices like the Glory/Honor, Ascend and the MediaPad are getting good reviews and solid sales in markets around the world, making Huawei one to watch. Perhaps the company thinks it can stand on its own IP, as it recently secured several key cellular patents. There’s always the possibility that more OEMs (possibly even the smaller companies from Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) could join the coalition in the future.
The litigation train doesn’t seem to be slowing down as we enter 2012, and in the case of Lenovo and ZTE, they’ve resolved not to be caught at the crossing.