Saturday, January 1, 2011

LTE Patents Essential for RAN Products 1Q 2011

LTE patent portfolios are researched for US market leader among LTE UE (cellular phones, smart phones, PDAs, mobile PCs, etc.) and base station (eNB) product manufactures. To find the key IPR holders for the LTE patents, a keyword search of the USPTO patent data base has been performed. For completeness, patent data in the lists of patents declared essential to 3GPP LTE appear at the ETSI IPR Online website is also included. Total of 1327 LTE patents, issued and published applications in the US as of December 31, 2010, are analyzed to find essential patent candidates for LTE RAN (Radio Access Network) standards.

3GPP standard specifications for LTE baseband modem are consist of three core parts: OFDM/MIMO Processor (TS36.211), Channel Coder (TS36.212), and Control SW (TS36.213). 3GPP standard specifications for LTE radio protocol SW are consist of four core parts: MAC (TS36.321), RLC (TS36.322), PDCP (TS36.323), and RRC (TS36.331).

An essential patent is defined as patent that contain one or more claims that are infringed by the implementation of a specification for standardized technology. Thus, if a LTE product is implemented following the standard specifications, it should infringe some essential patents. To evaluate the essentiality of a LTE patent, patent disclosures in claim and detail description for each LTE patent are compared to the final versions of the 3GPP Release 8 technical specifications.

Total of 152 patents (15 issued patents and 137 published applications) are identified as the potential candidates for LTE RAN essential patent. The LTE IPR shareholders for essential patent candidates are Ericsson, ETRI, Freescale, Huawei, InterDigital, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Nortel, NSN, Qualcomm, RIM, Samsung, and TI. Among 15 LTE essential patent candidate shareholders, the top 5 IPR shareholders - InterDigital, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung - are appeared as the key member candidates for a successful LTE patent pool formation and operation.

Total of 84 patents are identified as the potential candidates for LTE baseband modem essential IPR and total of 68 patents are identified as the potential candidates for LTE protocol SW essential IPR. Leading in IPR share indicates governance in licensing and a high in profit expectation through licensing royalty. As to the essential IPR share in baseband modem products, Qualcomm is the leader followed by LG, Samsung, Nokia, and InterDigital as of December 31, 2010. As to the essential IPR share in protocol SW products, LG is the leader followed by Qualcomm, InterDigital, Nokia, and Samsung as of December 31, 2010.

The distribution of essential patent candidates among the standard specifications is as follows:
TS36.211 (32%), TS36.212 (7%), TS36.213 (17%), TS36.321 (21%), TS36.322 (6%), TS36.323 (5%), and TS36.331 (12%).

©2011 TechIPm, LLC
All Rights Reserved

No comments: