Battles unfolding on several continents over who profits from connected cars, smart homes and robotic surgery may dwarf the size and scope of the tech industry’s first worldwide patent war — the one over smartphones.
Automakers are now in court fighting some of the same companies that phone makers such as Apple had to pay billions of dollars for use of their wireless standards technology. Those companies — Qualcomm, Nokia and other telecommunications developers — may reap 5G royalties not only from “talking cars” but from products that will communicate wirelessly being planned in agriculture, medicine, appliances and other sectors.
“So many different types of companies have to find a way to get these deals done,” said Joe Siino, president of Dolby Laboratories’ patent licensing arm, which works with audio, wireless, broadcast and automotive industries. “It’s taking the problems we had with smartphones and multiplying it by 10.”