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Why Is 5G Technology The Next Big Disruption In The Tech Space?

Manoj Poonia is the Vice President- Effectual Services and he believes that 5G has a benevolent and bullish future in India. Yet how is AI and Blockchain helping in the expedition? Let's explore

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Effectual Services, an Intellectual Property Management Advisory firm has a team of multi-disciplinary experts, who have rich experience in handling complex patent assignments in domains that include Alternative Energy, Automotive and Aerospace, Biomedical, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Materials, Information Technology, Electronics and Computers, Life Sciences, Telecommunications and many others.

Now, at a time when experts are quite hopeful about the advent of 5G technology, here’s why Poonia believes this holds true, and how is it important to prevent AI and ML inventions?

How is a patent licensing future enabling innovation for 5G Technology?

5G is the next big disruptive innovation, not only for the telecom sector, but potentially for many other sectors that depend on telecom – for example, IoT – another upcoming technology – which will make every device around us smarter. Imagine your Air Conditioning learning your preferences, and automatically setting temperature to your needs, or a smart home that optimizes the power consumption without the need for you to switch off devices. All of this will be possible through the analysis of data which the smart device will generate and most likely 5G will enable transfer of this data to a cloud for further processing.

Now this data, will most likely be processed by a machine learning algorithm sitting on the cloud – another upcoming technology –which will interpret the data and make recommendations to control the smart device in real time to make it smarter – again using 5G as the backbone. So the impact of 5G will not only limit itself to telecom sector, but to every other sector which will use the 5G as a backbone to transferring the data.

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How Does A 5G Future look Like?

Currently, the 5G standards are still in the formative stage, and there seems to be a race between companies to protect the 5G technologies they are developing – obviously, due to the large scale impact, it will have on other industries as well. Companies like Huawei, Samsung, Qualcomm etc. are very aggressively filing patents in the 5G space, and trying to get their patents declared as Standard Essential Patents (SEP) – which are patents essential to implementing a specific industry standard. A direct implication of this is – to manufacture a standard-compliant device, e.g. a mobile phone, tablet, computer,and other smart device,such manufacturers will have to use technologies that are covered by SEPs – making the impact much larger.

We have seen the patents being filed for 5G technologies for years now, and we are certain of two things – that the impact of 5G on the industry will be massive, and with patents filed at such an aggressive rate, there will be no single company that will own 5G entirely. A direct conclusion that follows is that there would be massive amount of patent licensing between companies – both telecom giants operating within the 5G space will cross-license patents to each other, and for the non-telecom companies using 5G as a base will have to take licenses from the telecom companies collectively owning the 5G space.

How important is it to protect Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning inventions?

Although AI is not a recent phenomenon, but the domain has grown in leaps and bounds in past 5 years, primarily due to the data revolution lead by 3G and 4G technologies. A look at the patents filed in the domain reveals that big companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. and smaller players and start-ups are actively filing patents in AI space. In such an ecosystem, especially when aggressive research efforts are being put in by the start-ups and big companies alike, it becomes very important to protect the invention by patenting. AI being algorithmic in nature, is prone to easy theft which is also why a patent protection is prudent.

Further, AI is a technology that has a wide variety of applications, and potentially every industry can benefit from the technology. The penetration of AI in multiple technical domains is already evident, and with advent of 5G, we will witness a deeper penetration of AI in a variety of industries in years to come, making the competition fierce across players. Obviously, due to the very nature and objective of patent laws, the companies who will protect their inventions by filing patents will have a competitive edge over companies that do not – they will be able to stop others from copying their ideas or using their technology without their permission.

How has Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain revolutionised patent analysis in India?

AI has impacted many industries and Intellectual Property industry is no different – the companies that offer Patent databases were the first ones to implement AI backed searching engines to make the process more efficient. With the help of an AI based searching engine, we have witnessed a gradual decrease in the time that it takes to complete a project, thereby, enabling us to pass this benefit to our clients. AI is a tool that learns over time, so we expect further improvements in the efficiency in coming years. With Natural Language Processing capability being built in these tools, we may expect these tools to become more user friendly, and requiring lesser skill.

While AI makes the process efficient, blockchain has a potential to to strengthen the existing IP regime. The reliability and security offered by blockchain can be used to strengthen every step of the life cycle of patents – right from inception of an idea to expiry of the patent. Blockchain can help in many ways, such as, identifying ownership change, executing licensing agreements via blockchain based contracts, identify counterfeit products etc.

Experts in IP industry in India seem to have already recognized this, as is evident from a tender floated by Indian Patent Office: “Expression of Interest for Making use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoT and other latest technologies in Patent Processing system of IPO”, wherein the Indian Patent Office expressed an intent to leverage the AI and Blockchain technology to make the patent process smother, more efficient and transparent for all parties – the Inventors, Patent agents and Patent examiners.

How patent filing for technology is important for the smartphone industry?

Patent filing is important for all industries and companies that thrive on R&D, however, it will not be an exaggeration to say that one of the key industries benefitting from patent is smartphone industry. The reasons are evident, the smartphone technology is a fast moving and things get outdated very fast – this makes companies invest heavily in the R&D, and keep on their toes always lest their competition will overtake them. With so much at stake, patents come to the rescue – in the sense that they ensure that the companies are able to take full advantage of their R&D efforts by protecting competitors from copying their inventions. We all know the story of Alcatel Lucent, which was acquired by Nokia – one of the primary driving factor for the deal was acquisition of patents owned by Alcatel-Lucent.

Smartphone industry is perhaps the most aggressive industry when it comes to patent filing and patent licensing. India too has witnessed its share of “patent wars” between giants – Ericsson was involved in multiple patent suits with Micromax, Xiaomi, Intex, Gionee, iBall, and Lava. Vringo sued ZTE and Asus over patent infringement.

The only way for the smartphone industry players to be leaders in the domain is by having a good patent strategy – for filing patents and for aggressively enforcing patents.

Any immediate milestones to be achieved?

Over the years we have grown to be one of the leading IP companies in India, and we plan to keep expanding our operations across the globe in near future. In the longer run, we aim to retain, and further strengthen, our dominance as one of the most agile and efficient company, who is the first one to mutate according to the ever-changing market demands, by investing in technology and our employees.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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