Monday, February 20, 2012

Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Ericsson Hold Strongest LTE Patent Portfolios

The recent multi-billion valuations for the patent portfolios of Nortel and Motorola Mobility have raised greater interest in which companies hold the strongest patent portfolios in 4G/LTE.

Recent analysis by Thomson Reuters, along with input from members of the Article One Partners (AOP) patent research community, reveals that Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Ericsson have built the strongest LTE patent portfolios. These top four companies own 55% of the highly essential and most novel patents. The study reviewed all 3,116 patents and pending patents declared essential, as of September 30, 2011, by members of ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

The study also looks at patent claims for advanced LTE technologies, including MIMO techniques, Advanced Carrier Aggregation, which relates to the use of more than one channel or carrier in contiguous elements of the spectrum or bands, and Voice-Over LTE (VoLTE).

"Leading mobile communications companies understand the importance of patent portfolios in developing LTE technology. This report indicates portfolio growth through patenting of key trend technologies (e.g., Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung) and acquisition (e.g., Motorola Mobility and Nortel). We expect that the LTE Standards process and litigation resolution will over the next decade result in a licensing regime for the smartphones industry to more closely resemble their forbearers, the telecommunications and computer industries. Patents rarely exclude competition in the long run, particularly where thousands of patents (e.g., 3000+ under ETSI LTE specifications) can apply to devices, LTE access and content/applications," stated Cheryl Milone, CEO of Article One Partners.

Article One (AOP) publishes requests for patent research to its 20,000 global community members.

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