To evaluate the innovativeness of patents for 4G LTE standard regarding UE (cellular phones, smart phones, PDAs, mobile PCs, etc.) and base station (eNBs, Femtocells, Relays) products, more than 2000 4G LTE standard related patents that are issued in the USPTO as of Dec. 31, 2014 are reviewed. TechIPm, LLC’s 4G LTE patents for standard research identified total of 1600 patents that are related to the LTE-Advanced standard.
To evaluate the essentiality of a patent for the LTE-Advanced standard, patent disclosures in claims and detail description for each 4G LTE related patent are compared to the final versions of the 3GPP Release 10 technical specifications for the LTE RAN (Radio Access Network). The evaluated patents are classified according to the level of essentiality that is specified by the Essentiality Index (EI):
E1 : Patent disclosure is weakly related to LTE technical specifications
E2 : Patent disclosure is partially related to LTE technical specifications
E3 : Patent disclosure is related to LTE technical specifications overall
E4 : Patent disclosure is strongly related to LTE technical specifications
To be a potential essential patent candidate, EI should be E3 or E4.
Ranking for the innovativeness of each 4G LTE standard patents assignee is evaluated by the number of patents weighted by the quality factor (EI). Among 35 IPR shareholders, LG is the leader followed by Samsung, Qualcomm, Google (Motorola), Ericsson, Nokia, Apple, InterDigital, BlackBerry, and Panasonic.
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