Huawei signed a global cross-licensing agreement with Oppo, its largest licensee in China in terms of the number of patents held and total devices sold.

During an online briefing, Alan Fan, head of IP at Huawei, said the agreement covers standard essential patents, with a focus on 5G.

Fan explained he couldn’t disclose the specifics of the terms and conditions, but said the scope of the deal is broad and includes 3G and 4G, Wi-Fi and audio codecs.

“Our Wi-Fi and audio codecs patents are some of our most valuable assets in our IP portfolio.”

The deal follows one with Samsung, with Huawei expecting the number of new or extended cross-licensing tie-ups across the smartphone, intelligent vehicle, networking and IoT sectors to reach 20 in 2022.

Huawei’s Samsung deal is its largest globally in terms of the number devices sold and patents held.

The agreements resulted from “negotiations not litigation”, which Fan noted shows the companies respect each other’s IP, and recognise the value of the patents and contribution to vendors.

He noted licensing is not a business unit, but patent revenue is picking up, with inbound royalties totalling hundreds of millions of dollars annually. “We don’t have specific numbers as there are different ways to calculate.”

A total of 350 million 5G phones are covered by its licensing deals, the company stated.

In the automotive sector, Huawei estimates more than 15 million connected vehicles will be covered by its patent agreements in 2022, double the number of 2021.