Patent Filings Reveal a Growing Interest in IoT

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 04-01-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    Networking Intellectual Property for the IoT
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    Networking Intellectual Property for the IoT

    Patents in the following top three categories are for both wired and wireless technologies: Resource Management: 2,669 patents filed (of these, 2,201 were filed in the last five years), Communication Protocols: 2,212 patents filed, Topology Management: 1,676 patents filed
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    Computing Intellectual Property
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    Computing Intellectual Property

    Information Retrieval: 984 patents filed (377 patent filings in the last five years), Image Processing: 671 patents filed, Data Security: 628 patents filed
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    Control Systems, Circuits and Sensors
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    Control Systems, Circuits and Sensors

    Control Systems lead with 980 patents filed. Circuits followed with 893 and sensors with 277. In the last five years, 700 patents were filed in the Control Systems field.
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    Top Five Patent Assignees
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    Top Five Patent Assignees

    The companies that filed the most IoT patents were: LG: 482 patents, Ericson: 404, Qualcomm: 301, KT Corporation: 160, Nokia: 158
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    Patents Filed by Region
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    Patents Filed by Region

    Besides the United States, extensive patent filing is happening in China, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan and Japan. That indicates high-end research and development in IoT in these countries.
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    Chinese Investment in IoT IP
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    Chinese Investment in IoT IP

    China plans to invest $750 million in the IoT by 2015. The Chengdu Internet of Things Technology Institute in Sichuan Province is developing a "health care capsule."
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    Competitive Positioning
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    Competitive Positioning

    Looking at the split between granted patents and applications, Somfy leads with most of its portfolio containing granted patents. In contrast, LG, which started filing patents relatively late, occupies the bottom of this list.
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    Scope of Patents
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    Scope of Patents

    Examining the extent to which a portfolio covers various aspects of the technology, the report found that Interdigital has the broadest claims in its portfolio. Microsoft, which has the narrowest portfolio, is at the bottom.
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    Citations for Portfolios
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    Citations for Portfolios

    One measure of the value of intellectual property is how often patents are cited in the industry. Microsoft and Interdigital are at the top, holding large forward citations. KT Corporation, however, is at the bottom with the lowest number of forward citations.
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    Qualitative Measure of Patents
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    Qualitative Measure of Patents

    Using a quality score (LexScore) based on grants versus applications, claim broadness, citations score, etc., the study found that Qualcomm is a potential market leader, whereas even though LG has the highest overall score, it has a low patent quality score.
 

A new study on intellectual property related to the Internet of things (IoT) finds that a majority of patenting activity occurred in areas related to resource management in a wireless network. But patent distribution in this domain is very fragmented, according to the study, with the top patent filer, LG, holding just 5% of total patents. Qualcomm is the leader in high patent portfolio quality and good patent filing activity, according to the report. Interdigital and ETRI hold substantial patents in their portfolios, as well. "With a very fragmented patent holding pattern and a high patent filing activity, we expect to see significant patent licensing activity in this technology domain," particularly in the wireless communication protocol and device control systems segments, the report states. The IoT is expected to be an "all-pervasive technology" in the next 10 years. The United States has the most patent filings, followed closely by Japan, Korea and China, the report states. The study was conducted by patent litigation consulting and e-discovery firm LexInnova, which has a proprietary patents analytic tool called LexScore.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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