The next industrial revolution will not only impact the smartphone and computer industries, but will also spread to many more industrial verticals as well. Automotive, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and the Internet of Things (IoT) are among the industries most likely to be impacted. While licensing SEPs in the telecom industry is well understood, licensing SEPs will be more difficult outside of the smartphone industry. Particularly with fundamental disagreements about where in the supply chain licenses should be taken.
In the automotive sector, for example, patent and antitrust litigation has ensued over attempts to license entire 5G portfolios for $15 per vehicle, where the end product is worth many tens of thousands of dollars and is increasingly sold as a mobile hotspot and entertainment center.
With respect to IoT, for example, we increasingly see synchronization in our own lives, as everything from refrigerators to lamps are connected to smartphones. This IoT revolution will only continue as software advances increase the connectivity and functionality of devices, but what is the value proposition? These communications are possible, of course, because of patented standardized technologies, and implementers are largely not yet licensing these patents. But does a refrigerator that can communicate with other kitchen appliances provide the same value proposition as a 5G enabled smartphone?