The 5G network has been always seen as a milestone in the way we connect with the digital world. Its ultra-high speed, ultra-low latency and network capacity provide for more than wider use of streaming and social networking. It allows the implementation of new products and services, such as autonomous vehicles, remote medical surgeries, and augmented reality applications.

5G in its full potential completed one year of implementation in Brazil last 6 July. For the time being, 5G is only available in 184 cities, which include all state capitals, covering around 10 million users. 125 different models of 5G cellphones have been approved by the Brazilian Telecommunications Authorities so far. Samsung is the current leader of different 5G cellphone options.

The BRPTO has recently published a report which gives an overview of 5G related patents in Brazil1. As a 5G related patent, the BRPTO considered the following: (i) those patent/applications related specifically to the 5G standard and (ii) those patent/applications in other areas but also related to the 5G technology.

According to the BRPTO, filing of 5G related patent applications in Brazil dates back to 2000. Peak of patent activity happened on 2017, 2018 and 2019, with a total of 1624, 1850 and 1459 new filings per year respectively. The total number of 5G patent applications filed in Brazil accounts for 11% of the total number of 5G patent applications filed in the world – China, the United States and the EPO lead with 73%, 69% and 55% respectively. From those Brazilian cases, 2300 patents have been granted, 2087 of which are still valid. 7203 applications are still pending a decision.

When it comes to who is filing 5G related applications in Brazil, the United States leads the race with 3893 filings, followed by China (4416), Japan (1142), Sweden (1068), Finland (545) and Corea (351). Qualcomm leads the Applicant's race with 2886 filings, followed by Huawei (2297), BBK Electronics (1123), Ericsson (1030), Nokia (563) and NTT Docomo (556).

The BRPTO also analyzed the covered technology in terms of the corresponding IPC classes. Class H04W72 (management of local resources) is the most common class, appearing 5633 times. It is followed by classes H04L5 (arrangements affording multiple use of the transmission path), H04L1 (arrangements for detecting or preventing errors in the information received), H04W76 (connection management), H04B7 (radio transmission systems) and H04W24 (supervisory, monitoring or testing arrangements), appearing 4642, 2652, 2503, 2081 and 1729 times respectively.

Brazil has currently a population of around 118 million active cellphone users, and around 242 million active cellphones. This shows how much 5G will still grow in the country in the near future. As a natural result, a growth in patent related disputes is expected as well.


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