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New iRunway Report Shows 40+% 4G-LTE Patents in US Filed By Asian Entities


AUSTIN, TX (US), May 27, 2017

iRunway, a technology consulting firm specializing in patent licensing and litigation, has released an updated research report on the 4G-LTE patent landscape that charts the growth of 4G-LTE technology in the U.S. region over the last two years. The research report, which expands and updates a 2014 report, provides insights on companies which control the most patents, and the most seminal (strong) patents. It also shows Asian entities increasing their footprint in the U.S. 4G-LTE patent landscape.

“Operators today are actively experimenting with robust Gigabit LTE networks which provide the base for 5G networks. These LTE features offer high speeds similar to wired fibre connections,” said Animesh Kumar, Chief Solutioning Officer, iRunway. “The last two years have witnessed that marked transition of 4G-LTE network technology towards the next generation, which has resulted in some interesting trends in the US 4G-LTE patent landscape,” he added.

Mobile performance in the U.S. has scaled up multi fold in the last decade. Over the last two years, LTE-Advanced has become a mainstream technology with advanced Carrier Aggregation capabilities, high order MIMO systems and advanced modulation schemes.

iRunway’s analysis finds 48,709 4G-LTE technology IP assets registered with the USPTO. The study suggests that 4,578 4G-LTE patent applications have been filed between 2014 and 2016, of which 1,859 IP assets are owned by Asian entities. LG Electronics, Samsung and Huawei lead the list of Asian entities with large IP assets and figure among the top 10 patent portfolio owners in 4G-LTE U.S. patent holdings. Qualcomm continues to lead the overall U.S. patents and applications in the 4G-LTE space with 4,000+ IP assets.

Importantly, the report offers insight into the ownership pattern of SEP assets - patents and applications that describe technologies crucial to 4G-LTE standards. iRunway’s research found 21% of the overall 4G-LTE IP assets were declared as SEPs. LG Electronics made a late entry into the 4G-LTE IP landscape but scaled up through its M&As and in-house R&D to build a balanced 4G-LTE portfolio. Though Samsung owns the highest number of total SEP assets, LG Electronics owns the highest number of granted SEPs in this space. There’s a clear race among Samsung, LG Electronics and Qualcomm in declaring SEPs that form a base for advanced 4G-LTE technology. This space has witnessed a clear focus in developing OFDM/OFDMA, Carrier Aggregation, MIMO and CoMP Transmission technologies in the U.S.

“Companies headquartered in Asia such as LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony and others have captured a fair share of the 4G-LTE market through their products and IP assets. In the last two years, Huawei has grown its 4G-LTE IP presence rapidly, with active research in HARQ technology, while LG Electronics has created a niche market for itself in Carrier Aggregation,” says Animesh Kumar. During the past two years, Samsung declared 279 SEP patents and applications, leading the list.

Technology players are focusing on R&D that can scale up current 4G infrastructure to provide gigabit speeds with negligible latency, paving the way for 5G. Companies have begun testing the 5G spectrum before its commercial deployment, which is likely to increase patenting, licensing and monetization activities in 4G-LTE technologies.

Click to download report


About iRunway

iRunway helps corporations, law firms and universities unlock and protect the value of patents by combining technology expertise with practical business insights to monetize patent portfolios and improve litigation outcomes. iRunway has offices in Austin, Santa Clara, Denver, New York and Bangalore (India). For more information about the company’s consulting model and in-depth analysis, visit www.i-Runway.com

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