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FRITZBOX Router Manufacturer AVM Settles Huawei Patent Dispute

Monday, Apr 29th, 2024 (10:51 am) - Score 1,680
AVM-FRITZBox-Broadband-Routers

Germany-based AVM, which manufactures the popular FRITZ!Box range of broadband ISP routers and smart home devices (widely used in the UK), has quietly settled their patent dispute with Huawei over WiFi 6 technology. As a result, some of the recent changes made to AVM’s device firmware will be rolled back.

Just to recap. Huawei had filed – between 2022 and 2024 – five infringement lawsuits against AVM, which were in the process of being heard in the Munich Regional Court when a settlement agreement was suddenly announced last week. Huawei has tried to enforce its Wi-Fi 6 patents against several users since 2022, including AVM, Amazon (related to their Echo speakers and Kindle readers), Netgear and Stellantis.

NOTE: Some of the patents concerned included EP 3337077 (case ID: 21O2576/22), EP 3241300 (case ID: 7O2578/22) and EP 3334112 (case ID: 7O2991/24 and 7O2218/24).

The cases involving Stellantis and Amazon had previously reached a settlement, which left AVM and Netgear as the last pair standing (now it’s just Netgear). AVM had responded to the pressure in January 2024 by pushing out an updated firmware for six of their WiFi 6 routers, which they said was enough to “[resolve] … the strict allegation of patent infringement” (allegedly intended to avoid a possible sales ban). But all of that is now in the past.

Details of the out-of-court settlement between AVM and Huawei are hard to come by (Heise), although it appears as if the proposed sales ban is now off the table and all mutual lawsuits have been withdrawn. AVM also seems to have gained licences for Huawei’s related patents around Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7.

In addition, the new settlement means that the previously introduced firmware (software) changes for some of AVM’s FRITZ!Box kit will be withdrawn in the future, although it’s unclear precisely when this will occur. Credits to Steve for spotting this development.

Finally, it remains to be seen whether Netgear has any better luck, particularly as their case is being heard before a Californian court, which won’t be as guided by the previous rulings in Germany. Netgear is also counter suing Huawei (case details) by making the following complaints.

Netgear’s Complaints vs Huawei

1) VIOLATION OF SECTION 2 OF THE SHERMAN ACT (MONOPOLIZATION);
2) VIOLATION OF SECTION 2 OF THE SHERMAN ACT (ATTEMPTED MONOPOLIZATION);
3) VIOLATION OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT;
4) CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE THE RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT;
5) BREACH OF CONTRACT;
6) DECLARATORY JUDGMENT OF IMPLIED LICENSE AND/OR EXHAUSTION;
7) FRAUD;
8) NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION;
9) PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL;
10) VIOLATION OF CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE §17200.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
5 Responses
  1. Avatar photo binary says:

    Huawei. Patents. Intellectual Property. Nortel Networks.

    Interesting.

  2. Avatar photo Jason says:

    One of the worst routers out there !

    1. Avatar photo Jason says:

      Why? They usually have a very good reputation.

    2. Avatar photo Munehaus says:

      They’re a good VDSL modem but are utterly hopeless when it comes to configuring. There’s no way to set source address rules, so if you open a port it’s global and a greater security risk. Meanwhile while critical securoty options like that are missing, the interface is full of nonsense. Oh and you can’s set the DHCP server to only allocate custom addresses.

  3. Avatar photo Pabs says:

    Hideous.

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