Dr. Jonyer is an expert in networking, telecommunications, smart TVs, smartphones, machine learning, computer software, Internet, cloud, and web technologies.
Areas of Expertise • Networking and Telecommunications: Mobile Wireless, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, routers, TCP/IP, content delivery, CDN, edge caching. • Smart TV and Smartphones: Google TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, YouTube TV, Apple TV, mobile apps, web apps. • Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence: Data mining, neural networks, deep learning, social network analysis. • Software Analysis: Cloud, mobile, smartphone, web, Internet, applications.
Expert Witness Experience Praised for his communications skills, Dr. Jonyer is effective in deposition testimony, report writing, and attorney briefings. Dr. Jonyer has opined on cases involving patent infringement, IPR, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract. He has extensive expert witness experience in cases involving Google, Facebook, Apple, Uber, Intel, Cloudflare, Nokia, eBay, Salesforce, Slack, Dell, Roku, and others.
Background Dr. Jonyer has a rare combination of academic, corporate, startup, and venture capital experience. • Assistant Professor of Computer Science: Taught 9 courses. Research in machine learning. • Google: Launched Google TV (later Chromecast) devices with OEMs and SoC vendors such as Sony, Samsung, LG. • Nortel Networks: Designed 3G mobile communication systems. • Adaptelligence: COO of health technology machine learning startup. • Sidespin Ventures: Managing director of venture capital syndicate. • NexStar Partners: Principal at early-stage venture capital fund.
Education • Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Arlington, 2003. • MBA, Carnegie Mellon University. 2010.
Ray Horak provides litigation support as a consulting expert and testifying expert in cases involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), product/service misrepresentation, contract disputes, and intellectual property (patent, copyright, and trademark/service mark infringement) disputes, as well as issues of taxes and fees allegedly owed to 911 districts and municipalities. Those cases have involved a broad range of technologies, including Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDSs), text messaging, cellular, DSL, E911, fax, PBX, prepaid cellular, push-to-talk (PTT), videoconferencing, VoIP, ringless voice mail and voice processing.
He also has performed numerous technical compliance reviews of the telephony systems that financial institutions and survey companies and their third party vendors employ in sales, collections, customer service and opinion polling. The objective of those engagements, several of which are ongoing, is to determine the specific nature and capacities (present, potential and theoretical) of the telephony systems (e.g., ATDS and PBX) and subsystems, the systems of record (i.e., databases), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Receivables Management (RM) systems, and any and all other peripheral systems, both premises- and cloud-based.
Ray is an Independent Consultant with a General Practice in Wireline and Wireless Telecommunications and Related Fields such as the Internet and Voice over IP. His 45 years’ experience includes management and executive positions with Southwestern Bell, CONTEL, and Executone. Ray authored the best-selling Communications Systems & Networks, (John Wiley & Sons), Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook (Wiley-Interscience), and Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary(Webster’s New World). Previously, Ray was Senior Contributing Editor for Newton’s Telecom Dictionary (12th through 21st Editions). He has written hundreds of technical white papers, case studies, articles, and columns for major print and electronic publications such as CommWeb, Computer Telephony, Datapro, Network World, The Prepaid Press, Teleconnect, and Telecom Reseller. Ray also has served as Technical Editor for several book-length works, including Deploying Secure 802.11 Wireless Networks with Microsoft Windows (Microsoft Press, 2003).
In the context of the Facebook v Duguid decision, considering all the issues it addressed and didn’t, clarified and confused, honest and conscientious actors have to be freshly concerned about TCPA compliance. That means checking all the boxes, doubling down on all the right things, and identifying and plugging all the holes in your call center operations.
Not particularly surprising to those of us who work in the TCPA domain or are impacted by it, the published articles, blogs and such are mostly, if not all, written by attorneys in the defendants’ bar. I reckon those in the plaintiffs’ bar like to keep their opinions, musings and strategies to themselves until the litigation process begins. I provided some TCPA background and context in a previous article, TCPA: Facebook v Duguid, but will repeat some of that here to refresh your memory.
The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the matter of Facebook v Duguid has been perhaps the single most anticipated in the realm of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), at least in the last decade or so, and all over a punctuation mark - a comma, to be exact.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed into law in 1991. At the time, consumers were plagued by sales calls which it seemed always came at the most inconvenient times...In an effort to address a growing number of telephone marketing calls and certain other telemarketing practices...
Most of us know, at least in general terms, about the restrictions on unsolicited telemarketing calls to consumers and the national Do-Not-Call (DNC) list designed to end those annoyances...or opportunities, depending on your perspective. Just to refresh your memory, the TCPA states "It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States—(A) to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system [ATDS] or an artificial or prerecorded voice
In an effort to address a growing number of telephone marketing calls and certain other telemarketing practices thought to be invasions of privacy, Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), codified at 47 U.S.C. § 227.
An instant classic and a best seller, with more than 65,000 in print. It served as the basis for Horak’s more contemporary works, Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook (2008) and Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary (2007).
A comprehensive and authoritative telecommunications dictionary of more than 4,600 terms essential to a clear and thorough understanding of voice, data, video, and multimedia communications system and network technologies, applications, and regulations. Webster’s is an absolutely unimpeachable resource written by a recognized expert in the field. Webster’s enjoys great critical acclaim, as do all of Horak’s works.
The one book you’ll need to understand the entire telecom landscape, from copper to fiber, wireline to wireless, LANs to MANs to WANs, TDM to IP, AAL to Zigbee and everything in between. Written in a plain-English, commonsense style by an authority on the subject, this critically acclaimed book is at just the right level for the serious professional who wants to get at the whole truth—without the math.
CyberTruth, LLC is a full-service Digital Forensics expert witness consultancy that provides services primarily to law firms in both civil and criminal defense cases. They provide analysis, reporting and testimony in cases involving a wide range of Digital Devices and Cloud Services, as well as Audio and Video Evidence Analysis.
John H. Morris, Esq., Owner and Principal Analyst at CyberTruth, has over 40 years of experience in technology, including 17 years at Microsoft in a variety of technical services roles. Mr. Morris left Microsoft to open Nashville Vanguard Law and, later, CyberTruth, allowing him to focus on working with those who needed his expertise most.
Mr. Morris is licensed to practice in the Tennessee state courts, admitted to practice in the Middle District Tennessee Federal Court, pending admission to Eastern District Tennessee Federal Court, as well as admitted Pro Hac Vice to the Southern District of New York Federal Court. He is a current member of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA), Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), and American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery.
Litigation Support - Mr. Morris works with criminal defense attorneys, civil litigators, divorce attorneys, and select Individuals. He has provided analysis, expert reports, and testimony in hundreds of cases and can provide numerous references as to the results.
Depending on the case, Mr. Morris serves as a forensic expert with years of experience in finding digital evidence others have tried to hide, an expert witness able to reinforce or disprove forensic practices and results, an assisting attorney for lead attorneys in need of a technology-oriented second chair, or as a provider of eDiscovery for small and midsized firms otherwise unable budget for such services.
Areas of Expertise:
Audio / Video Forensics - CCTV, traffic cameras, teller machines, police cameras, and cell phones; Digital media authentication, Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format) analysis for audio and video files, Forensic data analysis and interpretation, Media conversion, Recovery of deleted or corrupted data, Audio / video editing, Demonstrative exhibit creation
Cell Phone Forensics - Contacts, Photos, Calendars, Notes, SMS and MMS messages, Video, Email, Web browsing information, Location information, Social networking messages, Social networking contacts
Cellular Technology / Tracking - Navigation data analyzed for position and location to forensically reconstruct traveled path
Cloud Forensics - Locating, identifying, and separating suspected or compromised data for OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, iCoud, Sharepoint, iDrive
Computer Forensics / eDiscovery - Identify, collect, examine, and preserve evidence stored on digital media including E-mail, Activity logs, Correspondence, User documents, Internet activity, Browser history, Computer backups, Email archives, Wifi history, Hard drives, Recovery of deleted data, Intrusion detection, Spyware detection, Malware detection
Social Media Forensics - Analysis of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Match, Tinder, LinkedIn Signal, What's App, Periscope, MeWe, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, and more.
Donald A. Jasko, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Economics, is an attorney by training. He has for many years focused his energies on the Economic, Technological, andLegal issues involved in the Publishing and Licensing of Creative Content.
Mr. Jasko served in various management positions at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), in which he was instrumental in transforming the process by which performance rights in musical compositions are licensed for television broadcast. He was a key participant in the complex music industry negotiations that culminated in the new "per program" license, as well as the development of the process by which music performance and pricing data are exchanged electronically between television broadcasters and performing rights organizations.
After a 16-year career with ASCAP, Mr. Jasko resigned from ASCAP to found Digital Economics. He then became a major catalyst in the merger of Solana Technology Development Corporation with Aris Technologies, creating Verance Corporation. He joined Verance with key product development, business affairs, marketing and sales responsibilities. He also played a key role in forging international joint ventures.
After nearly two years of service in Verance management, Mr. Jasko returned to the leadership of Digital Economics. As Chief Executive Officer, he provides publishing administration, license administration and product development services to Digital Economics' clients.
Litigation Support - Mr. Jasko serves as a strategist and expert witness in litigation involving best practices in publishing and licensing administration, and the monetization of creative content, catalog valuation, and technology strategy and implementation as they relate to content metadata and content identification.
Areas of Expertise:
Publishing and licensing creative content, including musical compositions, master recordings, digital sound recordings, photography and art;
Monetizing public performances of musical compositions and digital sound recordings, and the creative content of writers, directors, actors, and musicians;
Developing, deploying and monetizing databases of content metadata associated with programming, advertising and editorial;
Using ratings data to monetize programming, advertising, and the creative content incorporated therein.; and
Developing, deploying and using digital fingerprint and watermark technologies to monetize public performances of programming, advertising, and the creative content incorporated therein.
Mark McFarland, is a licensed and Board Certified Electrical and Telecommunications Engineer. He provides expert consulting for plaintiff and defense counsel on civil and criminal cases nationwide.
Mark's practice covers a wide range of cases, typically involving electrical, electronic, software, cellular, GPS, and telecommunications evidence. He has worked with lawyers in several fields including: wrongful death, personal injury, product liability, securities fraud, homicide, sex trafficking, medical malpractice, class action, insurance claims, patent litigation, contract disputes, and more.
Mark has worked dozens of cases and testified in court for civil and criminal trials.
Many of the cases he's worked have settled on his expert report.
Contact Mark at Discovery Engineering when you have litigation involving electrical, electronic, software, cellular, or GPS evidence. Licensed & Board Certified. 720-593-1640
Ian Cullimore, PhD, has over 30 years of hands-on Software and Hardware Development experience. He specializes in handheld devices, palmtops, PDAs, low power embedded systems, and Internet server technologies.
Background - Dr. Cullimore has held many employment and consulting posts as a software/hardware developer and inventor. He invented the world's first pocket PC which he licensed to Atari as the 'Portfolio'. He is also the co-inventor of the 'Poqet PC', acquired by Fujitsu. Dr. Cullimore is an experienced hi-tech CEO/CTO, yet still very hands-on with respect to architecture and coding. He has many years of experience both in the UK and California (Silicon Valley and LA) in companies ranging from small startups to large corporations, and in building and managing software and hardware teams.
An entrepreneur and start-up and young company specialist, Dr. Cullimore has helped to raise Angel and VC rounds, and has taken startups to exit. He has much experience interfacing with Boards, Investors, and sales/marketing/bizdev groups.
Litigation Support - Dr. Cullimore has a long track record as a Patent and Software / Hardware Expert Witness. His experience includes 30 cases, 19 written Expert Reports, 10 Depositions, and 3 at trial. His services are available to attorneys for both plaintiff and defendant.
Joe Sremack, CFE, CISA, is an expert in Enterprise IT Systems, Data Analysis, and Source Code Analysis and is a managing director in Kroll’s Data Insights and Forensics practice, based in the Los Angeles office. Joe leverages more than 20 years of data analytics and technology experience in assisting law firm, corporate, and government clients respond to large-scale data, software development, and enterprise systems issues.
Joe brings a unique perspective and cutting-edge data solutions to assist his clients with dispute and investigation matters by incorporating advanced technologies and pragmatic solutions. His career encompasses advising clients on a variety of issues across various global jurisdictions where data and enterprise systems play a central role.These issues range from U.S. trade enforcement, securities litigation, consumer class action litigation, SEC/CFPB/FinCEN/CMS regulatory compliance and internal investigations. Joe is the author of Big Data Forensics and a frequent contributor to academic and commercial journals and conferences.
Litigation Support - Joe works with white collar, class action, and commercial litigation clients who are facing complex IT issues and issues involving large-scale, complex data questions. He has assisted clients across the US and over fifty countries. His services include thorough reporting, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.
This book is meant for statisticians and forensic analysts with basic knowledge of digital forensics. They do not need to know Big Data Forensics. If you are an IT professional, law enforcement professional, legal professional, or a student interested in Big Data and forensics, this book is the perfect hands-on guide for learning how to conduct Hadoop forensic investigations. Each topic and step in the forensic process is described in accessible language.
Mobile Wireless Technology Expert Witness Jacob Sharony
Jacob Sharony, PhD, MBA, has over 25 years of experience in Mobile and Wireless Technologies. He is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University, teaching wireless technologies and applications. He also served as a faculty member of the electrical and computer engineering department and director of the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology at Stony Brook University. Dr. Sharony held engineering and management positions in diverse technology disciplines at Time Warner Cable, Motorola, BAE Systems, NEC Research Institute, and IBM Research. He has over 50 US patents (pending and issued) and has served on several government expert panels.
Litigation Support - Dr. Sharony provides Patent and Class Action litigation support and expert consulting in mobile and wireless technologies. This includes patent infringement and invalidity analysis, FRAND analysis, writing expert reports, and deposition, and testimony in court. His deep knowledge of target markets, including telecom, healthcare, logistics, transportation, government, hospitality, mobile commerce and supply chain management, combined with extensive expertise in wireless and mobile technologies ensure innovative and successful solutions.
J. Armand Musey, CFA, JD/MBA, founder and president of Summit Ridge Group, LLC, provides expert witness testimony for the Telecom, Media, and Satellite Industries. Mr. Musey is a highly regarded financial analyst with expertise in Asset Valuation, Business Valuation, Financial Analysis of Economic Damages, and Financial Scenario Analysis.
Mr. Musey also has significant experience in corporate governance and investment research practices. He offers litigation support for clients with complex financial analysis or valuation projects. His background also includes Wall Street research methods and practices on behalf of defendants in insider trading cases.
Mr. Musey's industry knowledge, financial expertise, and extensive writing experience allow him to expediently craft well-argued independent written direct testimony documents that withstand scrutiny in depositions and during courtroom cross-examination. Prior expert witness experience and years of communicating with investors of all types have honed his skills at orally communicating his industry knowledge and financial expertise. Moreover, Mr. Musey's legal background facilitates his ability to communicate with legal professionals, understand the legal relevance of case facts, and efficiently read legal documents.
Areas of Expertise Include:
Industry and Business
FCC Spectrum Licenses (including orbital slot valuation and wireless spectrum valuation)
Satellite Communications Industry and Related Media and Telecommunications Topics
Financial and Economic
Financial Analysis of Economic Damages
Financial Scenario Analysis
Investment Research Practices - including accepted used of information sources and relationships with company management
Dr. Tal Lavian holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Computer Science, specializing in Networking and Communications. He is an expert in network communications, telecommunications, Internet Protocols (TCP/IP), LAN/WAN, Streaming media, VoIP, mobile wireless, and Internet/Web technologies. He has over 30 years of experience, has invented over 120 patents, and has co-authored over 25 scientific publications. For 20 years, Dr. Lavian has researched, studied, and lectured at UC Berkeley Engineering. He has served as an industry fellow and lecturer with UC Berkeley’s Industrial Engineering IEOR, Berkeley Engineering’s SCET, UC Berkeley’s start-up accelerator, and SkyDeck, as principal investigator for CRadar.Ai and CTO for Aybell.
Areas of Expertise:
Network Communications - Telecommunications - Internet Protocols (TCP/IP) - VoIP - Streaming Media - Mobile Wireless:
Communication Networks: Internet protocols; TCP/IP suite, TCP, UDP, IP, Ethernet, 802.3, network protocols, network software applications, data link, network, and transport layers (L2, L3, L4), packet switching, data center network architecture.
Mobile Wireless: Wi-Fi, 802.11, Bluetooth, MAC, PHY, Wireless LAN (WLAN). Cellular systems, SMS, instant messaging (chat), mobile devices, and smartphones.
Internet/Cloud: Internet Technologies, Web applications, HTTP, e-mail, SMTP, POP, IMAP, Java, C/C++, file transfer FTP, client-server, cloud computing, distributed computing.
Routing/Switching: LAN, WAN, VPN, routing protocols, RIP, BGP, MPLS, OSPF, multicast, DNS, QoS, network infrastructure, and network communication architectures.
James T. Geier is an independent consultant, author, and entrepreneur with 40 years experience planning, designing, analyzing and implementing Mobile Devices, Communications Systems, and Wireless Networks. Mr. Geier is the author of over a dozen books on mobile and wireless topics including, Designing and Deploying 802.11n Wireless Networks (Cisco Press), Implementing 802.1X Security Solutions (Wiley), Wireless Networking Handbook (New Riders), and Network Re-engineering (McGraw-Hill). Mr. Geier has been an active participant within IEEE standards organizations, such as the IEEE 802.11 Working Group, and the Wi-Fi Alliance. He has served as Chairman of the IEEE Computer Society, Dayton Section, and various conferences.
Litigation Support - James Geier has been an expert witness, written expert reports, been deposed, and testified in court as an expert during numerous patent litigation cases involving communications systems and protocols, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, security, encryption, authentication, IoT, transmit power control, network addressing, transmission protection (CTS-to-self), transmission priority, quality of service (QoS), frequency hopping, multi-modal radios, OFDM, application data updates, sensor networks, and location technologies. Mr. Geier has provided the following services dealing with patent litigation:
Patent Invalidity / Validity Analysis
Infringement / Non-infringement Analysis
Patent Claims Interpretation and Analysis / Claim Construction
Gain a practical understanding of the underlying concepts of the 802.11n standard and the methodologies for completing a successful wireless network installation. Practical, start-to-finish guidance for successful deployment of 802.11n wireless LANs. With the ratification of the 802.11n wireless LAN standard, thousands of companies are moving rapidly toward implementation.
You know it's essential, and you've heard that it can be tricky implementing the 802.1x standard. Here is a road map that will enable you to approach 802.1x implementation with confidence so that you can conduct successful implementation of 802.1x in both wired and wireless networks. Complete with step-by-step instructions, recommendations to help you choose the best solutions, and troubleshooting tips, it lets you benefit from the experience of others who have met the challenge.
Keith Mallinson has more than 25 years of experience in the Telecommunications Industry: as a research analyst, consultant, and testifying expert witness. Complementing his industry focus, he has a broad skill set including technologies, market analysis, regulation, economics, and finance.
Background Information - Prior to founding WiseHarbor in 2006, Mallinson led Yankee Group's global Wireless/Mobile research and consulting team as Executive Vice President, based in Boston, from 2000. Until then, he had overall responsibility for the firm's European division, as Managing Director from 1995. Prior to that, he was the European Research Director. Keith Mallinson started his career in military communications design, project management and commercial systems engineering at the UK Ministry of Defence. He also worked as an engineer at an electronic security systems company. For several years he was a director at a seed capital investment firm specializing in ICT and biotechnology. He has an undergraduate electronic engineering degree from London University's Imperial College and an MBA from the London Business School, including an academic exchange with Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Illinois. Mr. Mallinson has published numerous articles and speaks publicly at major industry events on a wide variety of topics including next-generation mobile network technologies, broadband wireless, fixed-mobile convergence and substitution, handset semiconductor technologies, intellectual property patents and licensing, emerging markets in developing nations, mobile search, and advertising.
Litigation Support - Having published research on a wide variety of commercial, technical, and regulatory matters, Keith Mallinson applies his skills in market and competitive analysis, advocacy, and expert testimony. He couples sector knowledge with financial and economic analysis to derive valuations or estimate litigation damages. His skills span Telecommunication Industry Analysis and Patent Licensing. Mr. Mallinson's services are available to attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants.
Areas of Expertise:
Cell Towers, Cell Masts and Micro Sites
Radio and Core Network Equipment
Devices including smartphones
Telecommunications Chips and Software
Mobile Voice and Messaging
4G LTE and 5G
Internet of Things (IoT)
Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing including Standard-essential patents (SEPs)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly taking hold in many places to provide enormous benefits with improved utility and efficiency in various cellular capabilities. It is significantly affecting how networks are designed and operated. But some applications of AI are much more straightforward and less controversial than others.
The automotive industry is being revolutionized by continuous cloud connectivity, autonomous driving technologies, drive train electrification and shared mobility. These transformations are being facilitated in part by the standardized cellular technologies now commonly implemented in “connected vehicles” or “CVs”.
Change will be huge but gradual over the next decade. With 5G yet to make its mark beyond eMBB, a second wave of growth including widespread implementation of IoT using 5G SA, and with mMTC and eURLLC including enterprise deployments, will have major impact commencing around 2025.
A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank, controversially suggests that auctioning spectrum for 5G is detrimental to the U.S. and helps Huawei. While spectrum allocation is an important issue in industrial and economic policy, high auction fees do not appear to have impaired U.S. development and deployment of 4G or 5G.
It took the industry 30 years to consolidate mobile communications developments into a single 4G standard with the introduction of LTE and the demise of WiMAX. That attainment—also in 5G—should be cherished; but it is imperiled by geopolitical developments.
Aggregate royalty payments for licensing cellular technology standard-essential patents (SEPs) in smartphones have remained in modest single-digit percentages and have declined since 2013. This defies purported concerns that the stacking of patent royalties paid to multiple licensors have led to or would lead to unreasonably high aggregate rates on mobile devices
Technological improvements in cars over the decades have generally reduced costs or increased performance and safety. “Analog” technologies including collapsible steering columns, crumple zones and seatbelts have saved car occupants from death or serious injury. Many digital technologies have also improved our in-car experience with entertainment, mobile communications
Patent pooling is increasingly attractive for licensing cellular technologies with emerging IoT including 5G because it can provide greater transparency, predictability, and various efficiencies such as lower transaction costs at scale in standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing with multiple dimensions and complexities including
While litigation is bogging down the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) in vehicles with disputes about where in the production supply chain licensing may or must occur, this is also delaying payment of Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty charges in these cases and causing confusion about licensing value.
While there is much uncertainty about the outlook for standard-essential patent royalty rates in court determinations, there are plenty of solid benchmarks in well-established comparable licenses (“comps”). The former rates are thin on the ground and have been made up based on some dubious and fiercely...
A European Commission DG Growth initiative described in its Roadmap on Standard Essential Patents for a European digitalised economy aims to increase information on SEPs so implementers can get a better idea about which of these they might be infringing. Additional disclosures on how patent claims might read on the standards could be beneficial. Requirements should reflect the dynamics and uncertainties in standards development and patent prosecution and must not be onerous to patent owners. These are issues for standards development organisations to consider.
The notion of "peak smartphone" is widely discussed of late, including by the Economist. Revenues are flattening with longer replacement cycles, saturating markets, resistance to Apple's price increases, decreasing prices among Android's fiercely competitive OEMs and allegedly diminishing technical improvements in successive new device models. 5G holds massive growth potential, but much of that is in industrial and IoT markets that will take at least several years to establish themselves and grow to levels that will have substantial impact on overall device and service revenues.
US, China, Japan and Korea are seizing global leadership in 5G with support of coherent and helpful industrial policies in those nations across the entire mobile ecosystem including technology development, spectrum licensing, site acquisition and operator consolidation. All these nations will launch 3GPP standard-compliant 5G services in 1Q 2019, except for the US, that might start sooner, and Japan, where the first launches are expected before yearend 2019. The first 5G smartphones will probably be sold to consumers to be sold to consumers in 2Q 2019.
Recent new technology deployments with gigabit LTE at Telstra in Australia, Sprint in the U.S. and EE in the UK highlight how much mobile communications technologies have improved since the introduction of mobile data services with circuit-switched and then packet-switched offerings from around 20 years ago. Peak and average user speeds have increased by a factor of 10,000. By way of comparison, microprocessor performance doubling every couple of years, as predicted by Moore's Law, has increased it only one thousand-fold over that period. Cellular performance improvements are therefore quite spectacular given the vagaries of connecting through the ether up to hundreds of meters, as well as processing those signals in the confines of around one square centimeter of baseband processor silicon!
In March 2015, IEEE significantly amended its patent policy in what was couched as an "update" but that seeks to significantly revise commitments from parties holding patent claims essential to IEEE standards to license those rights on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms. Changes disallow patent holders from receiving any value attributable to the standards, require licensing at the smallest saleable patent practicing unit level, and deny these rights holders entitlement to seek an injunction against an unlicensed implementer until appellate review is exhausted. IEEE’s stated objective was to protect implementers from patent holdup, which was alleged without any substantiation. IEEE is promoting, by reducing technology licensing costs, the short-term interests of certain implementers while undermining standard-essential patent values and the ability of SEP owners to receive adequate compensation, they are entitled to, from licensing their SEPs.
At last, American authorities are also beginning to do the right thing for owners of standard-essential patents. Under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, America's agencies did the wrong thing by seriously undermining standard-essential patents in various ways. For example, this existentially threatened the independence of Qualcomm, which relies substantially on its patent-licensing business to fund long-term R&D including that in upcoming 5G mobile communications. Thankfully, President Donald Trump's administration has recognised the important need to support, not undermine, the nation's technology innovators, and uphold their patent rights, as enshrined in the US Constitution.
In a major ruling that underscores judicial independence, federal judge Richard J. Leon has just unconditionally approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the US government's effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal.
Major innovations in cellular technologies arise largely from the substantial Research and Development (R&D) investments and inventions of relatively few companies, followed by widespread collaborations including many more in the process of standard setting.
While Ericsson is a leading contributor to mobile communications standards, a US District Court in California has significantly undervalued Ericsson's standard-essential patents (SEPs) by relying heavily on flawed "top-down" valuation analysis that prorates royalties by company for 2G, 3G and 4G based on SEP counting. This analysis applies a series of inaccurate assumptions which whittle down royalty rates from an understated notional maximum in a succession of unreliable steps. The resulting rates derived are a lot lower than those found in a European court's FRAND determination for the same company in the same year (2017) and for the same 2G, 3G, and 4G patent portfolios. The differences between these US and European determinations are irreconcilable.
Radio spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless networks. Traditional methods of doling out spectrum have somewhat hindered rather than helped maximize the availability of affordable Internet access, even if this was not the case with voice and text. Instead of seeking to aggrandize auction proceeds by creating scarcity, more flexible allocations including shared as well as traditional licensed and unlicensed assignments are required.
I participated as a panelist in a session entitled, "Economists: Do They Have a Place?," at the Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2017. This article is substantially my remarks in that conference panel session. Before my remarks, Stephen Haber of Stanford University said that I had posed the defining question for the entire conference in an audience question-and-answer exchange the previous day. It had perturbed me to hear a panel speaker mischaracterize the communications standards as platforms of preexisting technologies upon which Internet of Things (IoT) innovation will occur. In response, I said that communications standards are rich in technology innovation and patented intellectual property.
As I explained in IP Finance last week, following President Trump's blocking of Broadcom's hostile bid to acquire Qualcomm, by remaining independent the cellular technology leader will be able to maintain its long-term commitment to high levels of R&D investment (at 23 percent of sales recently), most significantly including that in 5G communications standard-essential IP.
The broadband performance and economics of cellular with 4G and 5G is making it possible for many of us to do without any wired connection at all - already including those who, on average, stream up to an hour of video per day. Nevertheless, most homes will continue to need fixed connections; but 5G fixed-wireless access will serve many of these.
At a conference entitled Patents in Telecoms & the Internet of Things, at George Washington University in the District of Columbia last week, I was perturbed to hear a speaker mischaracterizing the communications standards as platforms of preexisting technologies upon which IoT innovation will occur. Major research and development investments are being made in communications technologies and standards to satisfy the anticipated demands of 5G and IoT. In fact, these investments, with significant innovations resulting already, are largely a leap of faith in advance of hoped-for IoT applications development and proof of demand for these.
Consumers are only beginning to use LTE in unlicensed spectrum. So far chatter has mostly been about operator trials, commercial chipsets and sales of devices to seed the market before anyone is to be able to use the new service feature. Nevertheless, the commercial impact will be quite dramatic within a few years.
The new US Department of Justice antitrust leader says antitrust enforcers are too accommodating to IP implementers when in dispute with standard-essential patent owners. Instead, patent owners should be allowed to decide how they want to exercise their property rights: "under the antitrust laws, a unilateral refusal to license a valid patent should be per se legal" – he also reminds us "the right to exclude is one of the most fundamental bargaining rights the patent owner possesses."
Technology innovation by chip, device and equipment vendors plus intense competition among national oligopolies of mobile network operators has improved cellular performance and reduced costs to the enormous benefit of consumers. Meanwhile, recent financial gains in the mobile ecosystem are largely accruing to Silicon Valley's tech titans including Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix. The massive network investments required for 5G may not be forthcoming if this imbalance persists.