• Xiaomi is addressing its patent challenges in order to cope with its overseas expansion strategies.

Xiaomi is addressing its patent challenges in order to cope with its overseas expansion strategies. (Photo : www.geeky-gadgets.com)

Xiaomi, China’s leading smartphone maker, announced on Friday its plan to take on patent challenges as its executives see an intensified overseas expansion.

Regarded as one of the world's fast-growing startup technology companies, Xiaomi started selling quality yet economical smartphones in 2011. Within a short span of three years, the firm has already achieved a big business scale.

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According to Xiaomi co-founder and president Bin Lin, the company's sales reached $72 billion in 2014, while its annual shipment tallied 61 million units.

"We all know that intellectual property issues will come as a company increases its scale. It will happen sooner or later," Bin stated, acknowledging the importance of beefing up patent portfolio.

The Xiaomi president said that the firm "took only three to four years to achieve a scale that might take others longer, and our challenges regarding intellectual property rights also came earlier and fiercer than other."

Bin then cited the company's patent battle with Ericsson over its smartphones in India.

In December of last year, Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson filed an infringement campaign against Xiaomi resulting in the Chinese firm's temporary sales suspension.

Xiaomi was allowed to only sell Qualcomm chip-enabled handsets until Feb. 5, the same date of the scheduled next hearing regarding the patent case.

Meanwhile, Bin revealed that since the company was established in 2010, its executives have always seen the significance of intellectual property rights. Bin also stated that Xiaomi's patent applications have constantly increased for the last four years.

In 2011, it recorded a total of 100 applications and increased by another hundred in the succeeding year. For 2013 and 2014, the company recorded 600 and 1,300, respectively. Xiaomi estimated around 2,000 this year.

Xiaomi president Bin said that these patent applications were filed in the country and in the U.S. and Europe, covering industry segments that include wearable devices and smart hardware.

Bin also added that the firm is open for cross-licensing agreements dealing with important patents over foreseen lawsuits. This move is a strategy that will help the company secure its sales in its prospect global expansion costumers such as Russia and Brazil.

As it usually takes two to three years before the approval is released, Bin said that the fruits of Xiaomi's efforts were only tasted last year.