1. LTE Essential Patent Evaluation LTE patent portfolios are researched for US market leader among LTE UE (cellular phones, smart phones, PDAs, mobile PCs, etc.) and base station (eNB) product manufactures. To find the key IPR holders for the LTE patents, a keyword search of the USPTO patent data base has been performed. For completeness, patent data in the lists of patents declared essential to 3GPP LTE appear at the ETSI IPR Online website is also included. Total of 1250 LTE patents, issued and published applications in the US as of May 31 2010, are analyzed to find essential patent candidates for LTE RAN (Radio Access Network) standards. An essential patent is defined as patent that contain one or more claims that are infringed by the implementation of a specification for standardized technology. Thus, if a LTE product is implemented following the standard specifications, it should infringe some essential patents. To evaluate the essentiality of a LTE patent, patent disclosures in claim and detail description for each LTE patent are compared to the final versions of the 3GPP Release 8 technical specifications.
2. LTE Essential IP for Baseband Modem Products 3GPP standard specifications for LTE baseband modem are consist of three core parts: OFDM/MIMO Processor (TS36.211), Channel Coder (TS36.212), and Control SW (TS36.213). Total of 72 patents are identified as the potential candidates for LTE baseband modem essential IPR. Leading in IPR share indicates a governance in licensing and a high in profit expectation through licensing royalty. As for the essential IPR share in baseband modem products, Qualcomm (27 %) is the leader followed by Samsung (18%), LG (18%), InterDigital (7%), Nokia (7%), Motorola (6%), and TI (6%) as of May 31 2010. Ref. Figure 2.
3. LTE Essential IP for Protocol SW Products 3GPP standard specifications for LTE radio protocol are consist of four core parts: MAC (TS36.321), RLC (TS36.322), PDCP (TS36.323), and RRC (TS36.331). Total of 62 patents are identified as the potential candidates for LTE radio protocol essential IPR. Leading in IPR share indicates a governance in licensing and a high in profit expectation through licensing royalty. As for the essential IPR share in protocol SW products, LG (43 %) is the leader followed by InterDigital (19%), Qualcomm (18%), and Nokia (16%) as of May 31 2010. Ref. Figure 3.
4. Technology Innovation Analysis for Baseband Modem To excess the technology innovation for LTE baseband modem, the identified essential patents are classified as the key technology components for an implementation of the LTE baseband modem: OFDM/OFDMA (Frame & Slot Structure, Modulation), SC-FDMA (PUSCH, PUCCH), Channel Estimation (UL RS, DL RS, CQI), Cell Search & Connection (PRACH, DL SS), MIMO (Transmit Diversity, Spatial Multiplexing), Resource Management (Resource Allocation, Scheduling), Coding (Convolution, Turbo), Power Control, and HARQ. Based on the number of essential patent candidates, the most intensive field of technology innovation is the Resource Management (20%) followed by Cell Search & Connection (15%), and Channel Estimation (14%). Ref. Figure 4.
Fig. 4 LTE Technology Innovation for Baseband Modem
5. Technology Innovation Analysis for Protocol SW To excess the technology innovation for LTE radio protocol, the identified essential patents are classified as the key technology components for an implementation of the LTE radio protocol: Random Access, HARQ, Channel Prioritization, Scheduling (Dynamic, SPS), Protocol Format (PDUs, SDUs), Radio Link Control (ARQ), PDCP Process (SRB, DRB, ROHC), Security (Ciphering, Integrity), System Information, Connection Control, and Mobility (Handover, Inter-RAT, Measurements). Based on the number of essential patent candidates, the most intensive field of technology innovation is the Mobility (19%) followed by Scheduling (15%). Ref. Figure 5.
Fig. 5 LTE Technology Innovation for Protocol SW
6. White Space Analysis The innovation landscape analysis can reveal the white space in LTE commercial products technology for further development of essential patent portfolio. TechIPm, LLC provides the consulting service for the LTE essential patent portfolio development for baseband modem and protocol SW products base on the patent engineering methodology ( http://www.slideshare.net/alexglee/lte-patent-engineering-for-essential-portfolio-development-case-study-for-qualcomms-strategy ). TechIPm, LLC also provides the patent prosecution service for the LTE essential patent application base on the patent claim drafting strategy (http://www.slideshare.net/alexglee/lte-essential-patent-claim-drafting-strategy ). .
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