To enhance your 5G competitive intelligence, we build on our recent blog post, which examined use cases of our free to use 5G PatentEdge dashboard, we’ve taken another look at the intersection of self-declared 5G Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) and the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) scheme. Analyzing rich data from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) around self-declared 5G SEPs, and specifications from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) delivers a unique insight into competitor initiatives with respect to 5G.
As a reminder, ETSI maintains a data archive of SEPs that are self-declared by companies as being essential to one or more 3GPP mobile telecommunications specifications that define 5G.
Mobile telecommunications companies such as Ericsson, Nokia, LG Electronics, Qualcomm and others work together through 3GPP to develop technology specifications that govern how cellular networks operate. Meanwhile, these and other companies file patents on innovations related to the underlying technologies. ETSI provides a platform (and maintains a database) for companies to submit (self-declare) patents that the companies believe are essential to the standards. Those declarations could relate to their own patents or other companies’ patents. These self-declared SEPS are only a guide-post — to fully determine whether a patent is essential to the standard requires deep technical and legal analysis.
Despite these limitations, much can be learned from analyzing which patents companies declare as SEPs (and which ones they don’t) and how the standards themselves are intrinsically linked to the highly granular patent classification system used worldwide. We created 5G PatentEdge with the intention of making this data more readily accessible.
As a follow-up to our previous post, we took another look at CPC H04W 72/04 – Wireless Resource Allocation, this time comparing the subclasses to 3GPP Specification Section 38: Radio Technology Beyond LTE, where we found the highest SEP density.
As you can see in the heat map below, there is high correlation between certain CPCs and the sub-sections within section 38 of the 3GPP standard. Using 5G PatentEdge, we can drill deeper to find value in the data and answer critical questions, such as:
- Which companies are most active in these CPCs, regardless of whether they’ve taken the step to declare their patents ‘essential’?
- Which patents (SEP or otherwise) have the highest rate of forward citation among SEPs?
- Which patents are cited by, and/or classified in the same CPCs as SEPs?
- Which CPCs were most recently added to the classification schema, and relate to new areas of wireless innovation?
Understanding which patents are self-declared vs. those that are not, (through reviewing the CPCs), provides valuable insights into the projects and R&D activities of companies which aren’t available from other sources. Pairing patent analysis with traditional market and competitive intelligence research can help illuminate competitors’ business strategies. At a minimum, combining insights gleaned from analyzing the R&D, business and legal activities of key players can help inform you on companies’ priorities in the mobile telecommunications market, with respect to 5G.