Driving technology leadership

The importance of a strong patent portfolio

In this section

Introduction to patents and licensing

Licensing on FRAND terms

5G patents and licensing

Highlighting inventors

Inventor of the Year award

Articles and opinions

IPR Press kit

Introduction to patents and licensing

Only a decade or so ago, just having a wireless phone was exciting. Mobile communication today is very different. Cellular is the most impactful technology in the world and more people on earth have access to cellular communication than a bank account. Our innovations have helped enable that transformation.

The industry’s leading patent portfolio

We believe in the importance of patents, and our numbers show it: around 15 percent of Ericsson’s annual global revenue is invested in research and development (R&D), totaling tens of billions of dollars over the past few years. This equates to thousands of years of engineering time each year, by some of the brightest engineers in the world.

Our leading R&D efforts have created the world's leading patent portfolio, with more than 54,000 granted patents. This generates a return on our investment that enables us to continue our ongoing research in technology innovation.

The patent and licensing process

The patent and licensing process is designed to create opportunities for both established companies and new enterprises. Allowing other companies to benefit from Ericsson’s innovations, lowers the barriers to entry and enables new players to enter the marketplace.

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1. Early research

Research works in close collaboration across Ericsson, securing our innovations with IPR, in driving open standardization.

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2. Standardization and development

Driving global standardization, our commitment to open, collaborative and innovative technology standards enables us to play a key role in shaping standards for future technologies.

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3. Patent

Patents and licensing play an active role in advancing innovation and creating industry standardization. This is why we dedicate time and energy to making sure our R&D work adds to our strong patent portfolio.

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4. License

Giving fair access to Ericsson standard essential patents enables collaboration and standardization globally across the ecosystem, bringing interoperability, increased performance and lower barriers of entry to new players.

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5. Reinvest

Every year, Ericsson invests billions in R&D. The return on our R&D investment through our patent licenses means that we can continue this strong investment and keep driving the innovation of tomorrow.

We turn our research into your reality

We turn our research into your reality

We have led the development of cellular technology innovation from its inception, bringing advances through ongoing technology development and the establishment of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. Many of the everyday cell phone activities we take for granted have been realized through Ericsson’s groundbreaking research, from watching HD video to experiencing high speed data that enable us to play games and surf the web on the go at blistering speeds.

Watch videos about our ground-breaking research

Our 5G milestones

Our 5G milestones

Today the conversation turns to 5G, but this is not a new dialogue for us. Our 5G network development began early, with a robust 5G testbed created to prove its concept. We also trialed our next generation technology with the world’s leading operators, including Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, Docomo and SK Telecom, years before going to market. Our commitment has been recognized by the industry by numerous awards.

View our 5G milestones infographic

Our research areas

Investment in new ideas and technology innovation often comes a decade before bringing it to market. This can be a risk due to dramatic shifts happening in markets over time but it also means that products and services are tried and tested before reaching the consumer.

We carry out research in a broad range of areas, including: radio access technologies; IP and transport; wireless access networks; Cloud technologies; services, media and network features; security, management and operation of complex systems; and sustainability.

Discover more about our research and development

For further information on mobile and ICT patents and licensing, please get in touch.

Contact us