Ericsson Looks to Patents for Additional Income
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg has indicated that the company plans to flex its patent muscle in order to generate more revenue. "By 2015 two thirds of all consumer electronics devices will have some sort of connectivity," Vestberg said in an interview with BusinessWeek. "Any company or manufacturer that wants to get in there will need an agreement with Ericsson." Ericsson owns the rights to about 27,000 patents, which cover "basically everything in the telecom industry," according to Vestberg. The company is looking at its Wi-Fi patents, as well as those concerning Web search and optical transmissions in particular. The company has yet to decide the best coarse of action to take, though it appears to want to steer clear of bilateral agreements and may instead target chip makers directly. Patented technology has become a source of income — and litigation — for many players in the telecommunications and smartphone industry. Vestberg said that using its patents to earn additional revenue could help even out its quarterly performance.
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