Mobility Patents Now Comprise 21% of all U.S. Grants

Report Details Surprising Shift in IP Haves and Have-Nots

In the first quarter of 2012 better than one in five patents granted in the U.S. were related to mobile communications. This is up from just 5% in 2001.

Not only has the filing pace picked up, but according to a report written by a wireless industry consultant who analyzed some 7 million patents granted by the USPTO and the EPO since 1993, it has provided some players with a surprising arsenal and others with holes that need to be filled. The research, Mobile Patents Landscape: An In-Depth Analysis, examines the evolution of IP filings and grants in the mobile industries, and who are the apparent winners and losers. (It is available by clicking on the highlighted title.)

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One of analyst Chetan Sharma’s centerpiece graphs (shown on the left side of this page), Mobile Related Patents Issued, 1993-2011, breaks out USPTO and EPO grants. Samsung, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM are the top four.

Nokia, which recently announced 10,000 layoffs and whose credit has been has been downgraded to non-investment grade, looks to be in a good position to get top dollar (or Euro) for selling a portion of its patents, should it choose to.

Alcatel-Lucent is the European leader, while IBM, surprisingly, is the U.S. leader in mobile communications by far with about 9,500 patents. Apple is shown to have barely 1,000 mobility-related patents and perhaps only 100 in Europe.

Mobile Patents Landscape makes for fascinating reading for anyone interested in mobile communications patents and holders.

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