Qualcomm and Samsung rule the roost when it comes to IoT patents, according to new research

Samsung Electronics owns the world’s largest portfolio of patents relevant to ‘internet of things’ (IoT) technologies, while Qualcomm’s takes top spot in terms of quality, according to recent research from IP analytics firm Relecura.

In its report, Relecura concedes that “the definition of IoT is fuzzy”; fleet management

security and surveillance, inventory and warehouse, discrete manufacturing, ‘smart meters’, fleet management, remote patient monitoring and connected and autonomous vehicles are just some of the areas the firm’s analysis looks in to. In total, the report covers almost 130,000 relevant granted patents and applications worldwide. China is the jurisdiction with the most IoT-relevant patent filings, with China, the United States, South Korea, Europe and Japan accounting for three-quarters of all IoT filings.

The researchers found that the top holders of IoT patents with regards to quantity hail from diverse industries, including consumer electronics, telecommunications and software. The table below shows the top 10 IoT patent holders globally, by their share of all IoT patents:

Patent holder

Country

Share of IoT patents

Grants

Applications

Average star rating*

Samsung Electronics

South Korea

3.52%

820

3,746

2.06

Qualcomm

United States

2.22%

486

2,376

2.17

LG Electronics

South Korea

1.60%

524

1,558

1.82

Huawei

China

1.59%

490

1,589

1.79

Intel

United States

1.36%

212

1,562

2.24

ZTE

China

1.33%

176

1,575

1.69

Sony

Japan

1.25%

479

1.121

2.21

Ericsson

Sweden

1.18%

263

1,262

2.04

ETRI

South Korea

1.06%

400

991

1.83

Nokia

Finland

0.96%

332

899

2.13

 

When it comes to the perceived quality of IoT patent holdings, Qualcomm is deemed to have the largest portfolio:

Patent holder

Country

Number of high-quality IoT patent applications*

Share of high-quality IoT patent applications*

Qualcomm

United States

852

7.14%

Intel

United States

412

3.45%

Samsung Electronics

South Korea

393

3.30%

Sony

Japan

303

2.54%

Cisco

United States

272

2.28%

Google

United States

260

2.18%

Nokia

Finland

236

1.98%

Microsoft

United States

227

1.90%

Ericsson

Sweden

203

1.70%

Broadcom (formerly Avago)

Singapore

183

1.53%

 

Annual IoT patent transactions have shown an increase after 2011. Thus far, these assets have largely been transferred in the context of broader M&A deals, such as Avago’s $37 billion acquisition of its competitor Avago in 2015 (the combined company subsequently rebranded as Broadcom). Google has built up its stockpile of IoT patents with its purchases of Motorola Mobility and Nest Labs. As IoT grows in importance, we can expect more deals that see relevant patents changing hands.

*’Star rating’ is a patent quality metric developed by Relecura. The highest possible star rating is five; any patent with a star rating of three or above is considered ‘high quality’.

Categories: 

Other Contents by Author