Mapping 5G Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) to the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) code for Wireless Resource Allocation:
Twice each year, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) publishes a Special Report: Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs); Essential, or Potentially Essential, IPRs Notified to ETSI in Respect of ETSI Standards . That report, and associated data archive is a snapshot of Standards-Essential Patents (SEPs): patents submitted to ETSI as being Essential* to one or more communications standards, e.g. the 3GPP specifications that define 5G.
* SEP submissions (“declarations”) are made by patent-holding companies and are not verified by ETSI. A patent’s actual essentiality to a given standard is unverified until a study is performed.
The most recent Special Report prompted an update of our free-to-use 5G PatentEdge dashboard – a graphical interface for 5G SEPs. The dashboard allows users to identify trends related to 5G-active companies, countries, and specific standards and patents. Behind the dashboard is PatentCAM, IP Checkups’ IP management software platform, enabling a full-featured exploration of 5G technologies, along with other areas.
As an example of the value derived from merging SEP data with the 5G PatentEdge’s bibliographic patent data, consider the chart below. This visualization shows a “heat map” of the intersection between top 5G SEP-owning companies and part of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system – the international classification of patents according to claimed subject matter.
With respect to 5G and modern wireless communications in general, there are thousands of relevant CPCs (far too many to display in a blog post). The chart below displays one of the most active 5G-related CPC areas, according to the SEP data. Since early 5G standards were published around the fourth quarter of 2017, IP Checkups found that 15-20% of SEPs were classified in CPC H04W 72/04: Wireless Resource Allocation.
The numbers in the heat map indicate number of patent families for each company listed.
On its own, SEP data is cumbersome, and due to its unverified nature, limited in its ability to provide actionable insights. Because of the unverified and adhoc nature of self-declared SEPs, looking at the CPCs in which self-declared SEPS are classified provides insight into other potential patents and assignees that are working in 5G.
This data (along with internal corporate information related to market research, R&D opportunities and M&A targets) provides the basis for creating a patent landscape analysis. This analysis brings clarity to the technology roadmap by uncovering insights into crowded areas versus areas where there’s whitespace. We can also identify the companies working in stealth mode, prior art and freedom to operate risks and opportunities. In the hands of an inter-disciplinary team, this data leads to actionable conclusions, a comprehensive business strategy and improved corporate decision making.
IP Checkups developed the 5G PatentEdge dashboard to provide an easy-to-access, user-friendly interface connecting 5G patents and 3GPP standards, enabling companies to make informed decisions.