Interdigital Chief Defends Patent Policies


President and CEO of InterDigital Liren Chen told Mobile World Live it only uses litigation as a last resort in patent negotiations, pointing to a long track record of signing contracts with mobile players without court action.

Responding to a question on accusations the company was something of a patent troll, Chen explained it had hired some of the best scientists and engineers in the industry over many years, and consistently invested a large proportion of its revenue into R&D.

“In the last couple of decades we have invested more than US$1 billion in 5G alone,” he added, noting its business model was around patent licensing with most agreements made through bilateral negotiation.

“Once in a while after lengthy…discussions [where] we couldn’t reach a deal, litigation was used as something of a last resort. We always prefer to sign agreements through negotiation”.

The company is currently embroiled in legal battles with Chinese vendor Oppo.

He added on occasions it has had to use legal channels, the result has been “bilateral agreement that’s fair to both sides”.

During the last two years the company has been in high-profile legal battles with handset vendors Xiaomi and Lenovo.

InterDigital has previously been accused of being a patent troll by various media outlets.

The term is a derogatory one generally used for a company deemed to hoard IP without contributing to research. The so-called trolls are known for using legal channels and aggressive tactics in an attempt to collect licensing revenue.

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