Huawei Tops in Patent “Essentiality”

A technical examination of over a thousand patents in 5G found Huawei had the strongest claims. The patent system at every level is distorted, especially in standards-essential patents (SEP.) Companies have claimed over 10,000 patents are essential to 5G, looking for a share of over one hundred billion in royalties.

34% of Huawei’s declared patents are “essential,” according to very experienced analysts at Amplified and GreyB. 34% qualifying is a disappointing result, but better than Qualcomm (30%,) Nokia (27%) or Ericsson (22%.) I believe many of these patents will be rejected in court as obvious or not sufficiently original,

The Western world was shocked when Huawei emerged on top of the international counts of patents a few years ago. Innuendos suggested that Huawei was filing bad patents rather than original innovative work. Some came from commercial envy.

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In standards, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, & ZTE work together

90% of what happens in standards consists of extraordinary engineers working together in good faith. In this 3GPP email exchange, Bruno Landis of Nokia, Frank Yong Yang of Ericsson, Caixia Qi of Huawei, and Li Zhijun of ZTE exchanged ideas and worked out one of the hundreds of issues not yet decided for 5G.

This is from an open mailing list of the 3GPP standards group. As you can see, the tone is respectful as they try to get things right. This corresponds to my experience in standards. Honest folk, working hard to move the industry forward.

The exchange is also interesting because it shows how complicated even seemingly minor 5G questions can be. I’m writing a book on 5G and wouldn’t understand most of the below with help from an expert.

Any error could have practical complications. Some might be minor, like a call drop when you go from France to Germany. Others can be more severe. In the last few years in the US, the 9-1-1 emergency system has failed several times. (I don’t know if better standards could have prevented that.)

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