OnQ Blog

Qualcomm’s patents keep it at the top of industry innovation

Nov 19, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

We at Qualcomm are honored to be named to the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovator list for the fifth consecutive year. This distinction puts us among the world’s most innovative companies, measured by Thomson Reuters through patent volume, application-to-grant success, globalization, and citation influence. It measures these attributes against what it refers to as the “Lifecycle of Innovation:” a comprehensive indicator of who is leading in the discovery, protection, and commercialization of ideas.

Qualcomm is composed of world-class innovators who work together to pull the future forward faster. We are dedicated to the “Lifecycle of Innovation” in the mobile technology space. Since the company was founded in in 1985, we have 100,000 pending or granted patents worldwide, each representing a building block of innovation in the foundation of mobile technology.

Qualcomm is composed of world-class innovators who work together to pull the future forward faster.

This model puts our licensees on an equal footing with their competitors to utilize the foundational system-wide technology, so that they can compete on a level playing field. They know that if they license our technologies, they are doing so on fair and reasonable terms along with their competitors. And if Qualcomm hadn't patented and shared the technology, that would not be the case. Our patents get the technology from our hands to licensees in a way that provides stability, reliability, and scalability for their business and the entire industry.

The nature of R&D is that many times what we look to invent doesn’t work out the first few times. But without assuming that calculated risk, innovation would never materialize into commercially ready products. And unlike many other industries where incremental steps are sufficient to push the market forward, high technology requires big risks to keep the product cycle fresh and insulated from stagnation—this is especially important given the appetite consumers have for new technology.

Qualcomm has invested money on research in areas that once may have seemed like science fiction. Take wearables, for instance. For years, Qualcomm has envisioned an Internet of Everything, in which almost everything will be connected in some way and have the ability to exchange data with other things around it. For example, in 2009, long before “wearables” or “the Internet of Everything” were buzzwords, Qualcomm invented and patented a method that uses optical recognition techniques through a phone’s camera to recognize other objects—such as a smartwatch—and automatically configure itself to communicate with those objects. That was six years ago, when smartwatches did not yet exist. Now, many current smartwatches use that technology to identify themselves and pair with phones.

Our primary business here at Qualcomm is to invent the future. Our patents give us the vehicle to share the inventions that change our lives and change the world—and helped land us on the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovator list once again in 2015.

Learn more about how Qualcomm is making the future arrive faster.