Analysis of Huawei's PCT Patent Applications

화웨이의 PCT 특허 출원 동향분석

  • Kim, Marco JinHwan (Technology Management Economics and Policy Program, Seoul National University) ;
  • Han, Yoo-Jin (School of Global Service, Sookmyung Women's University)
  • Received : 2015.09.14
  • Accepted : 2015.10.19
  • Published : 2015.11.30


In this research, we aim to analyze the trend of Huawei's PCT patent applications. As a result of analyzing Huawei's PCT patents by dividing temporal spans into three periods - the early 2000s, the late 2000s, and the early 2010s -, the following characteristics have been observed. First, the number of PCT patent applications has conspicuously increased from the early 2000s to the late 2000s and this trend has continued during the early 2010s. Second, in terms of a core technological field, whereas Huawei focused on the development of technologies in the 'H04L: transmission of digital information' sector during the early/late 2000s, it changed this field to the 'H04W: wireless communication networks' sector during the early 2010s. Lastly, in the case of the patent maps, it was found that while general communications technologies, as expressed with such keywords as 'user' and 'network,' were actively developed during the early/late 2000s, mobile phone-related technologies grasped this leading position, as shown with the keywords including 'user equipment,' 'base station,' and 'MME,' during the early 2010s. It was also noticeable that Huawei filed LTE-related patent applications more actively than Apple and Samsung Electronics, which implies that it will presumably pioneer the global market more aggressively than its competitors in the future.


  1. K. Lee, , S. J. Cho, and E. D. Brown, "Dynamics of catch-up in mobile phones and automobiles in China: Sectoral systems of innovation perspective," China Economic Review, vol. 2, iss. 1, pp. 25-53, Jun. 2009.
  2. E. Harwit, "Building China's telecommunications network: Industrial policy and the role of Chinese state-owned, foreign and private domestic enterprises," China Quarterly, vol. 190, pp. 311-332, Jun. 2007.
  3. X. Gao, "Effective strategies to catch up in the era of globalization: Experiences of local Chinese telecom equipment firms," Research-Technology Management, vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 42-49, Jan.-Feb. 2009.
  4. M. Howard, "Infonetics assesses world's top telecom equipment vendors in fact-based scorecard," Infonetics Research, Mar. 2015.
  5. L. Sui, Global Smartphone Vendor Market Share by Region: Q1 2015, Strategy Analytics, May 2015.
  6. Huawei, Annual Report, 2001-2014.
  7. WIPO, Patent Cooperation Treaty Yearly Review, 2015.
  8. B. W. Kang, "The innovation process of Huawi and ZTE: Patent data analysis," China Economic Review, available online, Dec. 2014.
  9. D. Archibugi, and M. Pianta, "Measuring technological change through patents and innovation surveys," Technovation, vol. 16, No. 9, pp. 451-468, Sep. 1996.
  10. D. Encaoua, D. Guellec, and C. Martinez, "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, vol. 35, Iss. 9, pp. 1423-1440, Nov. 2006.
  11. C. Sternitzke, "The international preliminary examination of patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty - a proxy for patent value?" Scientometrics, vol. 78, Iss. 2, 189-202, Feb. 2009.
  12. F. Zhang, and X. Zhang, "Patent activity analysis of vibration-reduction control technology in high-speed railway vehicle systems in China," Scientometrics, vol. 100, No. 3, 723-743, Sep. 2014.
  13. E. S. Jeong, Y. G. Kim, S. C. Lee, Y. T. Kim, and Y. B. Chang, "Identifying emerging free technologies by PCT patent analysis," Journal of the Korea Institute of Electronic Communication Science , vol. 9, no. 1, 111-122, Sep. 2013.
  14. F. Narin, E. Noma, and R. Perry, "Patents as indicators of corporate technological strength," Research Policy, vol. 16, iss. 2-4, 143-155, Aug. 1987.
  15. J. R. Shim, "A study on the patent information analysis on electronic commerce(G06Q) based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) code: Focusing on the patent applications by 'N', the biggest Internet company in Korea," Journal of the Korea Institute of Information and Communication Engineering, vol. 19, no. 6, 1499-1505, Jun. 2013.
  16. F. Narin, "Patent bibiliometrics," Scientometrics, vol. 30, no. 1, 147-155, May 1994.
  17. H. Ernst, "Patent portfolios for strategic R&D planning," Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, vol. 15, iss. 4, 279-308, Sep. 1998.
  18. M. H. Huang, L. Y. Chiang, and D. Z. Chen, "Constructing a patent citation map using bibliographic coupling: A Study of Taiwan''s high-tech companies," Scientometrics, vol. 58, iss. 3, 489-506, Nov. 2003.
  19. L. Kay, N. Newman, J. Youtle, A. L. Porter, and I. Rafols, "Patent overlay mapping: Visualizing technological distance," Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, vol 65, iss 12, 2432-2443, May 2014.
  20. N. J. van Eck, and L. Waltman, "Software Survey: VOSviewer, A Computer Program for Bibliometric Mapping," Scientometrics, vol. 84, iss. 2, 523-538, Aug. 2010.
  21. P. Masiakowski, and S. Wang, "Integration of software tools in patent analysis," World Patent Information, vol. 35, iss. 2 , 97-104, Jun. 2013.
  22. S. S. Curran, and J. Leker, "Patent Indicators for Monitoring Convergence - Examples from NFF and ICT," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 78, iss. 2, 256-273, Feb. 2011.
  23. Y. Nakai, and Y. Tanaka, "Chinese company's IPR strategy: How Huawei Technologies succeeded in dominating overseas market by sideward-crawl crab strategy," PICMET 2010 Proceedings, 18-22, Phuket, Thailand, Jul. 2010.
  24. M. M. Godinho, and V. Ferreira, "Two emerging innovative dragons: An analysis of the IPR strategy of China's Huawei and ZTE," PICMET 2013 Proceedings, 1044-1057, San Jose, California, USA, Aug. 2013.
  25. S. Shukla, V. Khare, S. Garg, and P. Sharma, "Comparative Study of 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G,." Journal of Engineering, Computer & Applied Sciences, vol 2, no. 4, 55-63, Apr. 2013.
  26. GSMA Intelligence, Defining Mobile Penetration in China: Population, Subscribers & Connections, Jan. 2014.
  27. ZTE, Annual Report 2014, May 2015.
  28. Apple, Apple FY14 Results, Oct. 2014.
  29. Samsung Electronics, 2014 Samsung Electronics Annual Report, Jan. 2015.