Publications, patents, standard-essential patents (SEPs), and standard contributions are important indicators for the drivers in the technology development of 5G. However, current 5G technology reports predominately draw on patent data to identify technology developing organizations, ignoring the importance of publications and standard contributions. Therefore, we identify 5G technology developing organizations in publishing, patenting, and standardization and compile a unique dataset to identify leading organizations per category and to identify possible correlations and interdependencies. We find that for companies offering fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing conditions related to standard-essential patents, their publication, patent, and standard contribution counts highly correlate. Our findings suggest that 5G technology developing companies holding a high number of patents declared to 5G manage the three contributing factors of publishing, patenting, and standardization to optimize their impact on 5G technology development. Furthermore, we show that patenting and standardization are dominated by a few large companies from the United States, China, Korea, Japan, Finland, and Sweden, while publishing is much more globally distributed and not as concentrated. Our research suggests that scientific findings can be more easily published via scientific journals and that barriers might hinder filing patents and participating in standardization committees focusing on 5G, which only large companies overcome.

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Publication type:
  • Journal article
Other authors:
  • Magnus Buggenhagen, Knut Blind