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Patent leadership built on quality

Patent leadership built on quality

With an app for everything, no device has ever been such an integral part of our lives as the smartphone. But whatever we use it for, one thing remains constant: Nokia’s fundamental technologies are inside every mobile phone.

Nokia has invested more than EUR 130 billion in R&D since 2000 and played a major role in the development of global open standards, holding a variety of leadership positions in ETSI, 3GPP and other standards development organizations. As a result, we own one of the broadest and strongest patent portfolios in the mobile communications sector with around 20,000 patent families (each family composed of several individual patents).

Some inventions are more valuable than others

Last month we announced we had reached 4,000 patent families declared as essential to 5G standards. We’re proud to have reached this milestone, which reflects Nokia’s leadership in cellular technology R&D and standardization, but also firmly believe the strength of a patent portfolio is about much more than just numbers. You need to look at the quality of the patents, because some inventions are more valuable than others. Which is why we strive for excellence in everything we do, from invention disclosures and patent declarations to active portfolio management and renewal.

For decades, Nokia has been a driving force in global standardization bodies and industry groups, including 3GPP, holding a variety of leadership positions. As one of the most experienced stakeholders in the standards ecosystem, our focus has been on making technical contributions that are relevant to the standard and creating implementation-friendly solutions that match the needs of the industry. As a result, our patent portfolio consists of commercially significant inventions that are implemented in billions of devices around the world.

A leader in multimedia research and standardization

In addition to our leadership in cellular technologies, we also have a strong multimedia patent portfolio. In particular, we excel in video standards, including video compression technology. The work of Nokia’s engineers in video research and standardization has been recognized with numerous international awards, including four Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards. In fact, they received the most recent this year for standardization of the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF), which is the underlying format for the .mp4 files supported by virtually all consumer electronics devices.

ISO 9001 certification for Nokia’s high-quality patent portfolio management

As part of our commitment to quality, Nokia recently became one of the first companies to receive ISO 9001 certification - the world’s best-known standard for quality management systems – for its patent portfolio management. The independent certification assessed every step of Nokia’s portfolio management process, covering the entire lifetime of the patents.

Litigation is the ultimate test

Nokia currently has over 200 licensees across all our licensing programs and the vast majority of these licensing agreements were concluded amicably. But sometimes we have to prove the value of our inventions through the legal system, which is the ultimate test of a patent’s quality. Only patents of the highest quality maintain their essentiality and validity in the event of litigation and only a few companies have as strong a track record of protecting their inventions in court as Nokia. Recent examples include successful litigation against Daimler and Lenovo over their unauthorized use of Nokia’s inventions.

We never stop innovating

So, it has been an exciting year, reaching the landmark of 4,000 patent families declared as essential to 5G. Achieving ISO 9001 certification for our high-quality patent portfolio management process. And winning another Emmy. But the work does not stop there.

We continue to focus on innovating for the future. Driving the development of the next generation of cellular standards. Leading the transition from 5G to 5G Advanced, and from there to 6G. Shaping future multimedia standards. Contributing our innovations to open standards and enabling entire industries to build upon our inventions.

Tuomas Saukkonen

About Tuomas Saukkonen

Tuomas is the Head of Cellular Standards Patent Portfolio at Nokia Technologies. He has extensive experience of licensing cellular Standard Essential Patents and global litigation concerning patent essentiality and validity.

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