Korea asked to invest more in mobile patents

Mobile technologies are delivering huge benefits to consumers in Korea, small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) and the local economy as a whole. However, the government should be more aggressive and invest more in patents.


The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said in its latest analysis that incentivizing technology innovators through strong patent protection and industry-driven licensing is the key to helping sustain and foster an environment that will continue to support innovation in mobile technologies.

BCG is one of the world’s leading management-consulting firms.

“Supporting collaborative, industry-driven standards-setting and ensuring continuous allocation and availability of additional radio spectrum should be seriously considered,” BCG said in a report released on Sunday.

The consultancy said the government’s passiveness toward patents caused a “mobile divide” between big companies and SMEs, although mobile has been a huge driver of economic growth in the country, creating jobs and improving consumers’ lives.

“The mobile divide, the difference in growth between mobile leaders and laggards, is poised to increase,” the report says. “Narrowing the divide could be especially important in Korea, where SMEs have struggled to compete against large conglomerates in recent years.

“Korea’s SMEs that are leading the way in adopting advanced mobile technologies are growing up to twice as fast as their peers. They are adding jobs up to eight times faster.”
David Michael, a San Francisco-based senior partner at BCG and a co-author of the report, therefore, said that policymakers had an important role to play in sustaining innovation and research and development (R&D) investment in mobile technologies.

BCG specifically mentioned Qualcomm’s steady efforts in helping its Korean partners co-develop advanced mobile technologies, hinting that such Qualcomm-initiated moves should be properly rewarded.

“Qualcomm is investing in the next generation of core mobile technologies so that consumers and businesses all over the world can continue to benefit from the new capabilities that come from breakthroughs in data rates and other advanced features,” the report quotes Qualcomm Asia Vice President Jim Doh as saying.
According to BCG, Korea has quickly become the world’s most advanced mobile economy, with mobile GDP valued at $143 billion.

The report found that mobile technologies account for 11 percent of Korea’s GDP, making the nation’s mobile GDP (mGDP) the world’s largest. Its mGDP is expected to grow to $187 billion by 2020.

Despite Korea’s meteoric rise as a global powerhouse in mobile technologies, the report offered clear evidence that consumers seek advances above and beyond the present technology: 90 percent of 3G and 4G consumers reported that they want even faster data speeds, more coverage, more battery life, and many other improvements.

“Many of these breakthroughs will require continuing up-front investments in R&D by the industry,” the report said.



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