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 one of major driver for current mobile payments market.
TechIPm researched patents for the NFC-equipped smartphones and systems/applications for the mobile payments, issued in the USPTO as of June 30, 2015. TechIPm’s research identified more than 600 patents that are related to the NFC-enabled smartphone mobile payments. The identified NFC patents are classified by devices, systems, applications and their sub-components/systems.
Among 89 IPR holders Sony (including Sony Ericsson) is the leader followed by Visa, NXP, Nokia, Broadcom and Samsung Electronics.
To evaluate the essentiality of a patent for the NFC smartphone mobile payments, patent disclosures in claims and detail description for each identified NFC patent are compared to the industry standards for NFC technology (ISO and 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), and Tag Operation. Total of 164 patents are selected as the potential candidates of the NFC standard essential patents (SEPs).
Among 24 IPR holders, NXP is the leader followed by Sony, Broadcom, Round Rock, Samsung Electronics and Nokia.
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