Who is leading the race of innovating and commercializing the 5G standard, paving the way for a more connected world? 

Who is leading the race of innovating and commercializing the 5G standard, enforcing a new chapter for a more connected world 5G Report Key Visuals

October 10, 2023

A new report from LexisNexis ranks the Top 50 patent owners, starting with Huawei, Qualcomm, and Samsung  

NEW YORK, October 10, 2023—LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, the leading provider of intelligent patent analytics, brings unprecedented transparency to one of the world’s most important technologies and complex licensing markets in their 2023 report, “Who Is Leading the 5G Patent Race?” With the next wave of the industrial revolution powered by advances in mobile networks, nearly every industry will rely on connectivity standards like 5G. Innovators contributing to the standard and covering their innovations with standard essential patents (SEPs) are best positioned to dominate and commercialize in this growing market. Every week, 7-to-9-digit figure licensing deals in 5G are negotiated, while lack of transparency makes defining the market volume and market share difficult, in some cases even resulting in court disputes. 

Adding a new layer of transparency to the 5G innovation space 

The latest edition of this annual report builds again on one of the world’s most comprehensive and up-to-date data sets of patent declarations from LexisNexis® IPlytics. As experts only classify 10-20% of the declared SEPS in the 5G landscape as truly essential, for the first time, the top 50 5G list is built on a consolidated rank that factors in the Patent Asset Index, an industry-acknowledged proprietary patent valuation metric, in addition to 3GPP standards contributions and pure patent declaration counts. 

The top 10 leading 5G technology innovators and licensors 

New insights into 5G SEP licensing strategies and regional shifts 

The 5G technology revolution will disrupt business models around connected devices and prompt industries to reconsider how to deal with intellectual property. In addition to rankings and data analysis, the report explores strategies and recent moves of 5G innovators and SEP licensing leaders. It also contains deep dives into the widespread impact of cellular protocols, including how 5G could affect industries like automotive, energy, and healthcare.  

Key findings: 

Leading 5G patent owners: 

  • Huawei (CN), Qualcomm (US), Samsung (KR) make the top 3 spots on the list in both quantity and quality of patents 
  • InterDigital (US) ranks 14th when only patent families are considered but jumps to 5th place in the ultimate owner 5G patent ranking when utilizing the Patent Asset Index. 
  • Huawei (CN), Ericsson (SE) and Nokia (FI) are among the strongest 5G standard contributors 
  • Apple (US) has secured a strong position in the top 11-20 ranking, coming in the top 10 when considering the Patent Asset Index. Foxconn (TW), which owns the former Sharp portfolio, and MediaTek (TW) also have strong Patent Asset Index rankings. Intel (US) and Vivo (CN) would also have reached a top 10 rank, if only relevant 3GPP contributions had been considered 
  • Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) like InterDigital (US) or Key Patent Innovations Limited (IRL) play an essential role among the top 5G patent owners 

Market development and market concentration: 

  • The number of companies owning 5G patents continues to increase, and so has the number of declared 5G families, which is 2.5 times more (60,000) than what was declared for 4G (24,000). 
  • The top 10 players own 76% of 5G-declared patent families  
  • The Avanci 5G Vehicle program accounts for approximately 80-85% of all 2G-5G active patents. 

5G patent trends by geography:  

  • The US is the leading jurisdiction with over 28,000 granted 5G patent families, followed by China with about 26,000 and Europe with almost 15,000 patent families. 
  • The US, Korea and China have maintained above-average portfolio strength compared to other regions.  

Technical specifications and cellular protocols: 

  • Among technical specifications, NB-IoT has the largest number of patent families followed by LTE-M and LTE-Cat 1.  
  • Among the strongest owners of NB-IoT declared patent portfolios are Huawei (CN), Samsung (KR), ZTE (CN), Qualcomm (US) and Nokia (FI). 
  • The most substantial owners of V2X declared patent portfolios are Huawei (CN), ZTE (CN), LG (KR), Samsung (KR) and Qualcomm (US). 

How 5G technology patent analytics drives market leadership across sectors 

Licensing 5G SEPs is set to become a business-critical task, requiring stakeholders like patent directors, licensing executives, and legal counsel to gain a nuanced understanding of patent ownership and patent portfolio strength. “Who is Leading the 5G Patent Race” provides a window into the insights that patent portfolio analytics can unlock as countries and companies look to establish dominance in one of the most critical technology and intellectual property arenas of our time.  

For more information, please download the full report at www.lexisnexisip.com/5G

About the ranking methodology 

LexisNexis® identifies the true 5G patent leaders worldwide through a consolidated rank that factors in patent declaration counts, the quantity of standards contributions, from LexisNexis® IPlytics, and the Patent Asset Index, a widely accepted evaluation methodology featured in the LexisNexis® PatentSight® platform. The Patent Asset Index measures patent families based on their technology relevance adjusted by age, technology field and patent office practices, and the market coverage of patent protection. 

About LexisNexis® Legal & Professional 

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that helps customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law worldwide. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,500 employees worldwide and is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. 

About LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Solutions  

LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Solutions bring clarity to innovation for businesses worldwide. We enable innovators to accomplish more by helping them make informed decisions, be more productive, comply with regulations, and ultimately achieve competitive advantage for their business. Our broad suite of workflow and analytics solutions (LexisNexis® PatentSight®, LexisNexis Cipher™, LexisNexis® IPlytics™, LexisNexis PatentOptimizer®, LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®, and LexisNexis TotalPatent One®, LexisNexis® IP DataDirect), enables companies to be more efficient and effective at bringing meaningful innovations to our world. We are proud to directly support and serve these innovators in their endeavors to better humankind. 

Media Contact 

Holger Zimmer 
Global Director Brand and Product Marketing 
LexisNexis Intellectual Property Solutions 

[email protected] 
+49 151 176 636 75 

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