Top 10 5G patent holders

Globally, Huawei, Samsung, ZTE, LG, Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm are Top 5G patent holders. Majority of Huawei and ZTE patents are filed in China, whereas for others it is the US.  

Globally, 95,526 5G declarations patents have been declared for 5G which breaks down to 21,571 unique patent families as of January 1st, 2020 and only 44% of these patent families have yet been granted.

Huawei has declared most 5G patents followed by Samsung, ZTE, LG, Nokia, Ericsson and Qualcomm. All of those top 5G patent owners have already been active in the 4G standard development.

Most 5G declarations are first filed in the US (22.95%) followed by the European Patent Office (15.5%) and applications through the PCT procedure (14%) and applications in China (13.48%).

In the case of Huawei, around 73.54% patent was filed in China and only 53.46% was filed in the US, whereas in the case of ZTE it is 91.01% China and 12.74% in the US. In the case of Samsung, LG Electronics and Qualcomm it is 100% US, Nokia it is 90.48% and Ericsson it is 97.39%. Huawei and ZTE need to increase their other countries contribution significantly.

More than every third 5G declaration comes from a Chinese company. Korean companies with 27.07% are ahead of European companies with 16.98% and US companies with 14.13% or Japanese companies with 8.84%.

The study shows however that the larger share of the Chinese newcomers’ patent portfolios is filed locally in China and are yet not granted. Chinese companies Guangdong Oppo, Vivo Mobile, FG Innovation, Spreadtrum Communications and the Taiwanese ASUSTeK Computer are new in the top patent owner list comparing 5G and 4G.

Number of declared 5G patent families

Companies – No. of 5G patent families (INPADOC):

Huawei Technologies – 3,147

Samsung Electronics – 2,795

ZTE – 2,561

LG Electronics – 2,300

Nokia (including Alcatel-Lucent) – 2,149

Ericsson – 1,494

Qualcomm – 1,293

Intel – 870

Sharp – 747

NTT Docomo – 721

Guangdong Oppo M – 647

China Academy Of Telecom – 570

InterDigital Technology – 486

Vivo Mobile – 238

BlackBerry – 139

NEC – 122

ASUSTeK Computer – 111

Lenovo Group – 97

HTC – 93

KT – 85

Apple – 77

ETRI – 61

Fujitsu – 58

Motorola Mobility – 55

MediaTek – 38

WILUS Group – 33

Panasonic – 32

FG Innovation – 30

Sony – 17

ITRI – 14

SK Telecom – 11

Spreadtrum Communications – 10

The results show that only just over 73% of the 5G families declared by Chinese companies have been filed internationally and only around 25% have already been granted by at least one patent office. This means that Chinese companies have by far the lowest grant rate and do not register as internationally as Koreans, Europeans, Americans or Japanese. European companies have the highest grant rate with just over 66%, followed by Korean companies with over 62% and Japanese companies with over 50%.

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