In the patent index compiled by LexisNexis IPlytics, Huawei ranked first in the total number of 5G patent family. Qualcomm comes second, and Samsung on third. The rest of the tally follows Ericsson, Nokia, and LG Electronics for 4th, 5th, and 6th places respectively. Meanwhile, ZTE, Oppo, NTT, and InterDigital follow for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places accordingly.
The ranking system praised all top three players for the quantity and quality of the patents. InterDigital ranks 14th when only patent families are considered but jumps to 5th place in the ultimate owner 5G patent ranking when utilizing the Patent Asset Index.
Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia are noted as the strongest 5G standard contributors. Apple has secured a strong position in the top 11-20 ranking, coming in the top 10 when considering the Patent Asset Index.
Foxconn and MediaTek also have strong Patent Asset Index rankings. Intel and Vivo would also have reached a top 10 rank if only relevant 3GPP contributions had been considered. Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) like InterDigital (US) or Key Patent Innovations Limited (IRL) play an essential role among the top 5G patent owners.
5G patents continue to increase and the number of declared 5G families, is 2.5 times more (60,000) than what was declared for 4G (24,000). Meanwhile, the top 10 5G patent owners show 76% of 5G-declared patent families. In terms of geography, the US holds the most 28,000 granted 5G patents, China has 26000, and Europe at 15000.
How does this ranking work?
According to LexisNexis, the ranking is based on factors in patent declaration counts, age, technological field, and patent office practices.
Huawei has invested more than 977.3 billion yuan in research and development expenses in the past ten years. By the end of 2022, Huawei had more than 114,000 R&D employees, accounting for 55.4% of the total number of employees. Long-term investment in research and development has made Huawei one of the world’s largest patent holders. As of the end of 2022, Huawei holds more than 120,000 valid authorized patents worldwide.