The United States Patent and Trademark Office has released a report titled, “Patenting Activity Among 5G Developers.” Notably, the USPTO Report states:
In recent years, many studies have attempted to identify a single global leader in 5G technologies. Because it is difficult to directly determine which company owns the most patent-protected technologies used in 5G networks, existing studies have examined company activity in 5G standardization work and patents and patent applications declared potentially essential to 5G standards.
This report provides a broader perspective by examining more than one data set and by recognizing the variances in significance that patents have to a sophisticated technical standard, such as 5G.
Specifically, the report examines which companies have fled for more patents at the USPTO in four technologies that have seen the most patenting activity among declared patent flings: Management of Local Wireless Resources, Multiple Use of Transmission Path, Radio Transmission Systems, and Information Error Detection or Error Correction in Transmission Systems. This approach narrows the focus to patent flings on technologies central to 5G innovation. In addition to measuring patenting activity in these four technologies, the report also examines certain patent fling attributes associated with greater value. By analyzing the question of the 5G patenting activity from a variety of perspectives, the USPTO has generated a rich set of results that are arguably more informative of 5G competitiveness than prior studies.
The USPTO’s examination shows that six 5G companies consistently competed in patenting activity: Ericsson, Huawei, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung. According to the data generated for the report, no single firm dominates 5G innovation at present.
In summary, the results suggest that there remains ongoing competition among these six 5G companies in patenting activity notwithstanding media claims that a single firm may lead. Given the complexity of the results, caution is recommended when reviewing media claims of 5G dominance.
The Report also notes some key takeaways:
• Unique among studies on 5G patenting activity, this report examines both (1) overall global 5G patenting trends, and (2) patent flings and value indicators in the four most patented 5G-related technologies. • Based on the report’s analysis of patenting activity, the six most active 5G companies are Ericsson, Huawei, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung. • The findings of the report call into question claims that any single firm or country is “winning.”
The report is available, here.