NFC (Near field communication) is the key technology for Smartphone wallet application: A Smartphone including an electronic wallet provides a variety of financial and payment capabilities. The Smartphone wallet application supports paying for products or services in much the same way as presenting a credit card, a debit card, a smart card, a transit card, or a toll tag for payment. The Smartphone wallet can communicate wirelessly with a point-of-sale (POS) terminal using NFC technology to provide the appropriate financial information to complete a payment transaction. There are many Android and Windows phones offer NFC applications. Recently, France Brevets sued HTC and LG for patent infringement using two Inside Secure’s NFC patents.
To find the key IPR holders for NFC patents, a keyword search of the USPTO patent data base and ISO/IEC standard essential patents (SEPs) data base have been performed. To evaluate the essentiality of a NFC patent, patent disclosures in claims and detail description for each NFC patent are compared to industry standard for NFC technology (under development by the NFC Forum). 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), Connection Handover, and Tag Operation.
TechIPm, LLC’s NFC standard essential patent research for the US market identified total of 83 issued patents as the potential candidates for NFC SEPs as of 4Q 2013. NXP is the leader in IPR share followed by Sony, Innovision Research & Technology, Nokia, STMicroelectronics, Inside Secure and Samsung.
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