Patenting 5G technologies: who is who?

The major players in the industry own 80% of the patents 7 April 2022

In the recent study Patenting Activity among 5G Technology Developers performed by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), 5G-related patenting activity has been analysed and it has been shown that about the 80% of the 106,000 worldwide ETSI-declared 5G patent filings is associated to seven companies: Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Ericsson, and ZTE.

Qualcomm appeared to be the most active company in filing with the USPTO, the EPO (European Patent Office) and the Japan Patent Office, and Huawei appeared to own the majority of the 5G-related patent families. Generally speaking, it seems that Qualcomm and Huawei share the top two positions on the podium, Samsung and LG compete for the third and fourth positions, closely followed by ZTE, Nokia and Ericsson.

The study also showed that Qualcomm patent applications appeared to have, on average, the shortest claims and, hence, the broader scope of protection. In addition, Samsung and Qualcomm have been associated with patent applications of a bigger technical relevance and Nokia and Ericsson's patent applications appeared to have a higher degree of novelty than the competitors.

Overall, the study showed that the 5G-related patenting field is shared between seven top players filing almost all the patent applications in this field of technology, but a winner of the 5G-related patenting race could not be identified.


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