Hon Hai claims ranking among world’s top 10 holders of intellectual property

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Apr 13, 2019 - Page 12

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s biggest contract electronics maker, yesterday said that, together with Sharp Corp, it ranks as one of the world’s top 10 holders of intellectual property (IP) in 5G and ultra-high-definition 8K technologies.

Hon Hai made the comments after its IP arm, ScienBiziP (賽恩倍吉), was named among the Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators in Asia by Clarivate Analytics for a second year.

Hon Hai has been awarded 14,413 IP rights over the past year, Clarivate said.

“The company has been investing heavily in 5G technology over the past few years. The investments in IP might have even surpassed that on research and development,” ScienBiziP founding chairman Y.P. Jou (周延鵬) told reporters in Taipei.

Given 5G’s wide application, patent holders can charge royalties for their use in autonomous vehicles or smart devices such as refrigerators, instead of being limited to mobile phones, Jou said.

For Hon Hai, intellectual property is a tool and an asset to commercialize its technologies and to generate cash, rather than simply serving as a defense in litigation, he said.

Jou was a formal general counsel of Hon Hai, a major assembler of Apple Inc’s iPhone series. Representing Hon Hai, Jou was once involved in legal disputes between Apple and Qualcomm Inc.

ScienBiziP, which is 51 percent owned by Hon Hai, is in charge of developing and managing Hon Hai’s and Sharp’s IP portfolios.

It has more than 500 employees worldwide.

After three decades of investment, “the company is likely the No. 6 or No. 7 holder of IPs in the 5G and 8K areas,” Jou said.

Sharp is the major holder of 8K technology IP, followed by Huawei Technologies Co (華為), Qualcomm, Ericsson AB, Nokia Oyj, Samsung Electronics Co and NTT DoCoMo Inc, he said.

Hon Hai has been prioritizing patent coverage in the US and China with 6,000 filings each year, down from 30,000 a year before, given improving efficiency and effectiveness.

“The value of the 6,000 IP filings is several times higher than the 30,000 filed before, as the company uses big data and AI [artificial intelligence] technologies to gauge which IP is worth filing,” Jou said.

The government-fund Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) was also named among the Top 100 Global Innovators in Asia for a third straight year.

Hsinchu-based ITRI had accumulated 17,303 patents as of the end of last year.