Infrastructure giant Ericsson announced a “focus on further monetising its [intellectual property rights] assets,” including a restructure which will see the company’s chief intellectual property officer reporting directly to the CEO.
In a statement, Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, said: “As we are entering the networked society, we will see built-in wireless access beyond traditional devices like phones, laptops and tablets, providing new services to the consumers. This provides an interesting business opportunity for us, having this industry's strongest patent portfolio, as any company or manufacturer that wants to get in there will need an agreement with Ericsson."
The Sweden-based company said it is a net receiver of royalties, having signed more than 90 licence agreements already. As previously revealed, it is looking to grow this above the SEK4.6 billion (US$663 million) generated in 2010.
Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer (pictured), currently reports to the company’s CTO, as part of its Group Function Technology and Portfolio Management division. Effective immediately, he will report to Vestberg.
“Ericsson complies with, and endorses, terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory for its patent licensing programs, which make standard-essential patents widely available. This makes Ericsson the partner of choice for new entrants to the market, as well as established companies seeking to license technology at fair and commercially viable rates,” Alfalahi said.
At its Capital Markets Day event in November 2011, Ericsson identified its patent portfolio as a “key revenue area with growth opportunities,” enabling it to compensate for “cautious” short-term operator spending. It said at this time that it holds "27,000 granted patents covering a wide range of technologies, from wireless access to WLAN and the whole ICT value chain."