Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NFC Patents for Standards & Applications 4Q 2011

NFC (Near field communication) is a short-range wireless technology that allows wireless connections between two devices for data exchange in various business transactions. NFC-enabled smartphones are expected to be one of major driver for mobile communications market.

To find the key IPR holders for NFC patents, a keyword search of the USPTO patent data base has been performed. Total of 729 patents (588 published patent applications) are identified as of Oct. 31, 2011. The Key IPR holders are American Express, Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, Broadcom, First Data, Innovision Research & Technology, IBM, Inside Contactless, LG, MasterCard, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Sony (including Sony Ericsson), NTT DoCoMo, NXP, Oberthur Technologies, Qualcomm, Renesas Technology, RIM, Samsung, Sprint, and STMicroelectronics.

The identified NFC patents are classified by industry standard for NFC technology (under development by the NFC Forum) and major NFC applications. The NFC Forum standard specifications included in the analysis are Activity, Digital, Protocol, LLCP (Logical Link Control Protocol), NDEF (Data Exchange Format), RF/Analog, RTD (Record Type Definition), and Tag Operation. The major NFC applications included in the analysis are NFC device and system (e.g. security), mobile payments, mobile business applications, entertainment, and social networking applications.

RF/Analog is identified as the top specification, and mobile payments are identified as the top NFC application.

For details about the product, "NFC Patents Data for Standards and Applications", please contact Alex Lee (

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