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Asia vendors to capture 4G IP market, says ABI

Posted: 05 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:4G? intellectual property? 3G? WiMAX?

Asian companies will hold a significant share of the diverse 4G intellectual property (IP) landscape, according to a new report from ABI Research.

In 4G Intellectual Property and Royalties: An Analysis of LTE, WiMAX and UMB, the market research firm explained that Asian vendors have been subject to higher royalty rates than their competitors Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, due to their lack of significant IP portfolios for 2G and 3G technologies. To avoid repeating their experience in the 3G market, companies such as Samsung, Toshiba, Matsushita, Sony, NEC and Mitsubishi have moved to capture portions of the IP relevant to the 4G space.

"In terms of patent filing volume relating to core 4G technologies, eight of the top 15 companies are Asian vendors. More important, Samsung and Matsushita are the most active by far," noted Stuart Carlaw, ABI Research director.

However, patent holding alone does not necessarily dictate a strong position in the market, according to ABI. It must be coupled with an analysis of the involvement in standards bodies, as this allows companies to steer solutions toward their respective IP.

The report found that old guards Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Qualcomm will be very influential in this space alongside the likes of Samsung and LG. But the race to control 4G IP will not be smooth sailing, said Carlaw.

ABI likewise said in its report that the IP landscape for 4G technology will be far more diverse than the 3G domain. This can have one of two effects: Foster a higher level of cross-licensing, or create a situation where more companies demanding royalties have no involvement in standards, nor any intention to manufacture equipment.

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