SEPs are on the rise, the number of annual newly declared patents has almost tripled over the past five years; there were 6,457 new declared patent families in 2015 compared to 17,623 in 2020. The 5G standard alone counts over 150,000 declared patents since 2015. Similarly, litigation around SEPs has increased. One of the driving factors of recent patent litigation is the shift in connectivity standards (eg, 4G/5G, Wi-Fi) that in the past were mostly used in computers, smartphones and tablets, are now increasingly implemented in connected vehicles, smart homes, smart factories, smart energy and healthcare applications. Another reason why litigation may rise further is the belief that large SEP owners such as Huawei and LG Electronics may soon sell parts of their SEP portfolios, which may likely end up in the hands of patent assertion entities (PAEs).

The number of patents declared is skyrocketing. Such amounts of data are impossible for humans to analyze and not economically feasible to put in the hands of expert teams that must work for months or even years to determine the essentiality of the patents. AI presents an exciting solution.

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