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Navigating the Challenges of Patent Portfolio Management in the Race for 6G Technology: A Case Study of Ericsson

Article May 08, 2024 nan

In the ever-evolving landscape of telecommunications, the race towards the next generation of wireless technology, 6G, is well underway. As companies worldwide strive to innovate and position themselves at the forefront of this technological frontier, one name stands out prominently: Ericsson.

Ericsson, a global leader in communications technology and services, has emerged as a pivotal player in shaping the future of 6G technology. With a rich legacy of pioneering advancements in wireless communication, Ericsson is spearheading efforts to drive innovation and set new standards in the realm of 6G. With a prominent position among the top leaders in 6G-related technologies, Ericsson has undoubtedly made significant strides in shaping the future of wireless connectivity. However, amidst its achievements, there are certain areas of concern that warrant attention.

In the realm of 6G-related technologies, Ericsson has filed a commendable total of 88 patent families between 2019 and 2023. While this demonstrates the company's commitment to innovation and intellectual property development, there are instances where patents within its portfolio have encountered challenges. Among the 88 patent families filed by Ericsson, it is disconcerting to note that 2 patent families are currently in a dead state. This means that a portion of Ericsson's intellectual property assets has failed to maintain relevance or viability, resulting in potential monetary losses for the company.

Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that approximately 14.95% of Ericsson's patents/publications are in a dead state. This percentage represents a notable portion of its patent portfolio and underscores the importance of proactive portfolio management and strategic decision-making. As we delve into the intricacies of patent portfolios within the realm of 6G-related technologies, a closer examination of Table 1 reveals intriguing insights into the performance of industry leaders. Among the top contenders in this competitive landscape, Ericsson emerges with the highest percentage of dead patents within its latest portfolio—a statistic that warrants deeper exploration.



In addition to the challenges posed by dead patents, Ericsson may also face repercussions in terms of market competitiveness and innovation leadership. Dead patents not only represent a loss of investment in research and development but also hinder Ericsson's ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities and technological advancements. Furthermore, the presence of dead patents can tarnish Ericsson's reputation as a leader in 6G-related technologies. Stakeholders, including investors, partners, and customers, may view the company's patent portfolio as less robust or impactful, potentially eroding trust and confidence in Ericsson's capabilities. The presence of dead patents can be attributed to various factors, including inadequate prior art searches before filing patents and sudden shifts in technology or market interest. These shortcomings underscore the importance of thorough due diligence and foresight in patent filing strategies to avoid potential losses and maintain the relevance and value of the patent portfolio. To mitigate the negative impact of dead patents, Ericsson must adopt a proactive approach to portfolio management and innovation strategy. This includes conducting comprehensive prior art searches before filing patents, staying abreast of evolving market trends and technology landscapes, and regularly reviewing and reassessing the relevance and viability of its patent portfolio. Additionally, Ericsson should leverage its expertise and resources to explore new avenues for innovation and diversify its intellectual property portfolio. By investing in cutting-edge research and development initiatives and fostering strategic collaborations and partnerships, Ericsson can strengthen its position as a leading innovator in the field of 6G technology. Moreover, Ericsson should prioritize efforts to enhance the commercialization and monetization of its patent portfolio. This may involve licensing agreements, technology transfer initiatives, or strategic alliances with other industry players to maximize the value and impact of its intellectual property assets. Overall, while dead patents pose significant challenges for Ericsson, they also present opportunities for reflection, adaptation, and growth. By addressing the root causes of dead patents and implementing effective strategies for portfolio management and innovation, Ericsson can navigate these challenges successfully and continue to drive progress and innovation in the dynamic landscape of 6G technology.

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