12 Sep 2019

As 5G, IoT Patent filings rise, litigations Go up too

Since India is becoming a hot-bed for IoT and 5G based filing, we may soon see a litigation war here too.

Internet of Things (IoT) represents a whole world of connected objects that talk to each other at a whirlwind speed that never falters. The applications and benefits of this niche technology are multifold as it has the potential to revolutionise the world that we live in.

Amit Aggarwal, co-founder and director of Effectual Services, an intellectual property (IP) management advisory firm, says: “According to tech experts, by the year 2020, IoT devices will generate data accounting to 5 quintillion bytes every day.” According to him, the tech world is rooting for 5G as the superpower for handling such extensive data as it has the potential to connect everything together. The key reason for bidding on 5G technology lies in “The Cloud”, where the massive amounts of data from IoT can be stored, processed, and fed back to users, he insists.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has to be the brain digging through the pile of IoT data. AI has the ability to quickly deduce insights by automatically identifying patterns and detecting anomalies in the data that these smart devices generate. Gartner predicts that by 2022 more than 80% of enterprise IoT projects will include an AI component.

Aggarwal says, “Exploring the intellectual real estate, we observed that each of these technologies has significant patent filings of its own. For IoT patent filing, the key foreign corporates such as Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, LG, top the ladder. A few Indian origin companies such as Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies are also making it to the top list. The 5G patent filing activity also is in good shape with industry behemoths joining the race.”

Further, within AI, more than 300,000 patent applications have been filed, he says. For patent filings involving the integration of these domains—Samsung is filing multiple patents which involve using 5G network for IoT communication and AI implementation in IoT for smart home, health care, etc.

“This growing filing trend in these domains has also initiated a litigation war worldwide. Litigation studies show that during 2013-18, the cumulative number of IoT-litigated patents witnessed an increase of more than 400%, with a sharp spike from 2017 to 2018,” he informs. Further, patent assertion entities (PAEs) are acquiring IoT, 5G and AI patents, which they will likely monetise, assert and litigate over the coming years.

“Based on our analysis, we expect to see an increasing number of patent litigation as 5G inches closer to seeing the light of the world. Since India is also becoming a hot-bed for IoT and 5G based filing, it might soon find its troops marching towards the litigation war,” he summarises.

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