The number of newly declared Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs) has nearly tripled over the past five years, indicating a rise in their importance. The 5G standard alone has over 150,000 declared patents since 2015. This increase in patents has led to a rise in litigation surrounding SEPs. One reason for this is the shift from connectivity standards (e.g. 4G/5G, Wi-Fi) mostly used in computers, smartphones, and tablets, to new industry applications like connected vehicles, smart homes, smart factories, smart energy, and healthcare applications. Each sector will apply connectivity standards differently, making licensing SEPs more challenging. Licensing mechanisms will need to become more flexible, as there is no one-size-fits-all model that will work across all industry verticals. Leading industry experts discussed the main SEP litigation trends in an IPWatchdog webinar, and this report summarizes their discussion and examines worldwide SEP litigation data across various technology standards.
The analysis of recent litigation trends sheds light on:
- Who drives SEP litigation?
- Which are the most litigated standards?
- The role of PAEs, patent pools and large SEP owners.
- SEP litigation outside the smartphone world.
- SEP litigation venues around the world – which jurisdiction will prevail?