Smartphone patent wars; who comes out on top?
by Keris Lahiff
As smartphones increasingly become our all-in-one gadget, a battle wages among phone companies over who owns what technology. So which smartphone manufacturer comes out on top in the patent wars?
A study into smartphone patents, commissioned by Griffith Hack in association with Ambercite, reveals interesting relationships between providers and the technology on the market. This is essential reading for smartphone users, they say, stating that if you know who has the best innovations currently on the market, you’ll be more on point to getting the best technology released in the future.
The battle for your consumer dollars is heating up. During the third quarter 2010 alone, more than 80 million smartphone units were sold worldwide, a sales growth of 96 per cent on the preceding 12 months.
Using a newly developed method, Network Patent Analysis (NPA), Griffith Hack and Ambercite have found Apple has the world’s leading patent portfolio in the field of smartphone technology, slightly ahead of Microsoft and IBM. According to the NPA method, Apple owns 16 of the top 30 patents.
According to the report, the most litigated patents were in the areas of mobile data access, touch screen technology and mobile data transmission.
But the war isn’t over yet. Nokia recently filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Apple, claiming they have used Nokia-owned patents across their product line, mere days after ITC ruled in favour of Apple in a separate patent lawsuit with Nokia.
Meanwhile, ITC is reviewing Eastman Kodak Co.'s claim that Apple and RIM had infringed upon one of their patents. It is believed Kodak will score an excess of $1 billion in royalties if the decision is in their favour.
Published on: Wednesday, March 30, 2011