United States Senator Marco Rubio's proposed legislation to prevent Huawei from suing for patent fees in U.S. courts disrespects intellectual property ownership and severely infringes on the Chinese company's legitimate rights, analysts said.
If the bill is passed, it will set a very bad precedent that disrupts the global intellectual property system and damages the U.S. government's self-proclaimed righteousness concerning patents, they added.
The comments came after media reported that Rubio filed legislation that would bar the Shenzhen, Guangdong province-based company from seeking legal action related to patent infringements in the U.S..
Bai Ming, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the U.S. government is adopting double standards when dealing with intellectual property.
"Rubio's bill signifies that in his eyes, U.S. laws should only protect U.S. companies' patents, and if U.S. companies steal Chinese enterprises' patents, they should not be punished. What a ridiculous idea," Bai said.
Protecting patents makes common sense globally and no regard should be given to national boundaries, he said, adding that Rubio's proposal, though still several steps away from becoming law, further damages the reputation of the U.S. as an open place to do business.
Erick Robinson, a U.S. patent attorney and former in-house counsel at Qualcomm and Red Hat, said in a post on Twitter that this is "not just dumb, but dangerous".
"Aside from being arguably unconstitutional, such a move would destroy forever any U.S. moral high ground argument (regarding) IP with China or anyone," Robinson said, adding this is his own view and does not represent any companies he works for.
The Florida senator's move came after Huawei reportedly asked U.S. telecom carrier Verizon Communications to pay $1 billion to license the rights to Huawei's patented technology.
Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said during a dialogue on Monday that Huawei has many patents for 5G, but will by no means use these patents as a weapon to hinder societal development.
Huawei will also not overcharge other companies that use its patented technology, Ren said, adding that he believes the U.S. courts would reach fair rulings when it comes to Huawei's patent lawsuits with other companies.
Huawei's 2018 annual report said the company obtained a total of 87,805 authorized patents by the end of 2018, of which 11,152 were granted in the U.S..
Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of Mobile China Alliance, an association of Chinese smartphone vendors, said the U.S. often accuses China of stealing intellectual property, but Rubio's proposal amounts to the de facto robbery of Chinese companies' patents.
"The U.S. senator is now destroying his own country's intellectual property system with double standards," Wang added.