【英语财经】富士康起诉三家日本企业专利侵权 Foxconn in patents fight with Japan trio

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2014-6-26 06:27

小艾摘要: Foxconn Technology Group announced yesterday that it was suing a trio of Japanese companies in a US court for alleged patent infringement, in a sign that the maker of Apple iPhones and iPads is moving ...
Foxconn in patents fight with Japan trio
Foxconn Technology Group announced yesterday that it was suing a trio of Japanese companies in a US court for alleged patent infringement, in a sign that the maker of Apple iPhones and iPads is moving aggressively to monetise its growing technology base.

The suit against Toshiba Corporation, Funai Electric Company, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation comes as Terry Gou, Foxconn’s chairman, asked shareholders to be patient while the company diversified its revenue sources, with plans to invest in new businesses such as car electronics and cloud computing.

The lawsuit highlights how Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is looking to make money from its growing inventory of patents, related to its electronics manufacturing business. The patents in question cover flat screen displays used in televisions, monitors, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.

Facing pressure from shareholders amid slowing sales, Mr Gou said at Foxconn’s annual meeting: “Please be patient, don’t be in a hurry?.?.?.?I’m also the biggest shareholder, so if it’s bad for Hon Hai, it’s also bad for me.”

Representatives from Toshiba, Funai, and Mitsubishi could not be reached for comment. Foxconn did not say how much it was seeking in damages from the lawsuit, which was filed in the Delaware federal district court.

The company has been seeking ways to expand into sectors outside of manufacturing, where it is dependent on Apple for about half its business.

This week Foxconn and Pegatron, a rival Taiwanese assembler of Apple products, both said they were recruiting workers – a move thought to be related to production of the next round of Apple products. Last year, Foxconn was one of six bidders to win a 4G telecoms licence in Taiwan in a clear sign of plans to diversify.

Foxconn has won business from Japan’s SoftBank and Tesla Motors. It will manufacture a robot for SoftBank and is looking at co-operating with Tesla to make touchscreens for its electric cars. It is also the manufacturer of Amazon’s latest Fire smartphone.

Foxconn’s financial performance has been worse than expected, partly due to lower orders from Apple. It posted a 1.2 per cent rise in revenue last year to T$3.95tn ($132bn), missing a target set by Mr Gou. Net income, however, was up 13 per cent to a record T$107bn, partly because of foreign exchange gains.

There are signs that shareholders are growing restless: a group of global investors including Aviva, Axa, and Calstrs announced this week plans to engage the chairman on questions of transparency, long-term strategy, board composition and the “key man” risk posed by Mr Gou, who founded the company 40 years ago.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Thompson in Tokyo

富士康科技集团(Foxconn Technology Group)昨日宣布,正在向美国一家法院起诉三家日本企业专利侵权。这个迹象表明,这家苹果(Apple) iPhone和iPad的代工制造商正采取积极行动套现其不断壮大的技术根基。

对东芝(Toshiba)、船井电机(Funai Electric)和三菱电机(Mitsubishi Electric)提起诉讼之际,富士康董事长郭台铭(Terry Gou)要求股东耐心等待——该公司正努力扩大营收来源,计划投资新业务,如汽车电子系统和云计算。

这起诉讼突显富士康——又名鸿海精密(Hon Hai Precision Industry)——正寻求从其不断壮大的与电子制造业务相关的专利库赚钱。本案针对的专利涉及应用于电视机、监示器、笔记本电脑、平板电脑和智能手机等各类产品的平面显示器。

在销售放缓的大背景下,面对股东的压力,郭台铭在富士康的年度股东大会上表示:“请耐心等待,不要着急……我还是最大股东,因此,对鸿海不利的事,对我也不利。”

记者无法联系上东芝、船井和三菱的代表请其置评。富士康没有说明其要求获得多少损害赔偿金,这起诉讼是在特拉华州联邦地区法院提起的。

该公司近年一直在想方设法进军制造业以外的领域,目前其制造业务的大约一半依赖于苹果。

本周富士康和同样为苹果装配产品的台资竞争对手和硕(Pegatron)均称,他们正在招工。据信此举与生产苹果下一代产品有关。去年,富士康成为赢得台湾4G电信运营牌照的六个竞标者之一,这是一个明确迹象,说明该公司计划将业务多元化。

富士康已从日本软银(SoftBank)和特斯拉汽车(Tesla Motors)争取到业务。它将为软银制造一款机器人,并正寻求与特斯拉合作,为特斯拉的电动汽车生产触摸屏。富士康也是亚马逊(Amazon)新款Fire智能手机的代工制造商。

富士康的财务表现近来逊于预期,部分原因是来自苹果的订单减少。该公司报告去年营收增长1.2%,至3.95万亿新台币(合1320亿美元),没有达到郭台铭设定的目标。然而,净利润增长13%,达到创纪录的1070亿新台币,在一定程度上得益于汇兑收益。

有迹象表明,股东正变得越来越焦躁不安:英杰华(Aviva)、安盛(Axa)和加州教师养老基金(CalSTRS)等全球机构投资者本周宣布相关计划,拟在一连串问题上同富士康董事长沟通,包括透明度、长期战略、董事会的组成,以及40年前创立公司的郭台铭所构成的“关键人物”风险。

珍妮弗?汤普森(Jennifer Thompson)东京补充报道

译者/和风

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