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How many handsets make a million bucks? 869k for InterDigital

The mobile industry’s approach to patent licensing has made a few companies rich and dominant, but has been the source of many problems for smaller vendors, and for operators, for years. At the start of the 4G era, there was much talk of placing standards-essential patents (SEP) into more transparent frameworks than the secretive bilateral deals, based on sometimes contradictory definitions of Frand (fair reasonable and non-discriminatory) access, the basic premise that governs all SEP. Instead, the IPR licensing costs for handset and equipment vendors rose; there was a wave of disruptive lawsuits such as those between Apple and Samsung/Qualcomm/Nokia and others; and attempts to establish patent pools failed to gain enough support to thrive. At the start of 5G,…

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