Near field mobile payment refers to the payment method of capital transfer by realizing localized communication through a mobile terminal with short-range wireless communication technology. The main technologies include NFC, RFID, FeliCaIC, infrared, Bluetooth and other short-range communication technologies. In 2016, when Apple Pay entered the Chinese market, the industry triggered a new round of discussions on near-field mobile payment methods that are dominated by NFC. Enterprises such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and ZTE have successively focused on this. At present, Increasingly fierce market competition.

A patent search of worldwide near-field mobile payment technology was conducted in the Derwent World Patent Index Database (DWPI). As of March 7, 2017, the number of related patent applications reached 5,710. As of the date of the search, some of the patent applications filed between 2015 and 2017 have not yet been published. Therefore, the data on which the trend is analyzed in this paper only include the data from 1994 to 2014.

Patent applications are growing rapidly

The author of the search analysis found that near-field mobile payment technology worldwide patent application trends can be divided into three stages.

The first phase is the growth period (1994-2007). Since 1994, the number of annual patent applications in this area has started to increase slowly, reaching 243 in 2007. At this stage, patent applications are based on basic patent applications for near field mobile payment technology, including various technologies based on Bluetooth, infrared, RFID, NFC and the like.

The second phase is the adjustment period (2007-2010). At this stage, the annual number of patent applications in the near field mobile payment technology is relatively stable, basically maintaining at about 250 pieces per year. It is noteworthy that in 2009 and 2010, the number of patent applications declined, I think this is due to a variety of near-field mobile payment technology basic patents have been basically formed, but the mobile payment market has yet to be expanded, and the field of The standard dispute is in progress, so most companies are still based on exploration and wait and see. In addition, affected by the global economic crisis around 2009, many companies reduced their investment in intellectual property.

The third stage is the recovery growth period (2011-2014). From 2011 to 2013, the number of annual patent applications in this area increased especially rapidly, in the order of 261, 401 and 810 respectively. In 2014, the growth momentum still maintained, but growth slowed down. Near-field mobile payment was favored by enterprises for its security and quickness during this period, and NFC was widely accepted as the primary communication standard for near-field mobile payment. As standards become more and more unified, enterprises have stepped up their efforts in R & D of the technology, and the number of patent applications shows a substantial increase. At the same time, due to the fact that NFC-based patents are mainly held by a handful of businesses, other companies are also devoting themselves to research and development of new technologies. Some patent applications involving new near-field mobile payment methods have emerged, such as sonic payment. It is worth mentioning that the number of patent applications from China increased rapidly during this period, and the growth rate was significantly higher than other countries and regions.

Foreign enterprises leading strength

The author analyzes the top 20 applicants of the global patent applications and finds that all of them are foreign giants in the communications industry. Samsung, LG, Sony, Nokia and Broadcom are among the top five, Qualcomm, Microsoft, RES IN MOTION, Apple, NXP, Motorola and so on are among them, only ZTE, National Technology Co., Ltd. two Chinese enterprises to enter the rankings.

As a leader in near field mobile payment technology, Sony, Nokia, NXP, Qualcomm and Samsung have mastered a large number of basic patents and have extensive patent distribution around the world. The author analyzes the patent layout of the five countries and regions in China, the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea and finds that there are over 50% of the patent applications of Sony, NXP and Qualcomm in at least three countries and regions The layout. Samsung global patent applications and technical business situation are in a global leader in its release in 2016 Samsung Galaxy S4 already have a more mature NFC features that can support bus cards, data transmission and other applications. Apple is relatively conservative in the near field mobile payment technology commercial, until 2016 announced the support of NFC payment capabilities, but it has always been the focus of patent applications in this area, and holds a number of important patents.

Due to the late start of the mobile payment industry in China, the number of basic patents held by domestic enterprises is small and the patent layout is obviously weak. ZTE Corporation is the leading enterprise in the field of near field mobile payment. The number of patent applications held ranks first among domestic enterprises and a certain distribution has also been made around core patents. However, the intensity of patent layout is obviously weaker than that of foreign enterprises such as Sony . National Technology Co., Ltd. in the RFSIM technology has a certain patent advantage, the technology has been in the country has been the support of the three major carriers, a certain degree of industrial applications, but in the practical application of weak follow-up, with the growing NFC technology , RFSIM technology gradually lost its market.

Strengthen research and development to seek breakthroughs

China has a vast market prospect in the field of mobile payment, which provides a good opportunity for domestic enterprises to develop. As the foreign giants have the absolute superiority in patents, so if domestic enterprises want to achieve market breakthrough, I think we still need to strengthen technology research and development, from a multi-angle to seek a breakthrough.

In recent years, the number of patent applications in the field of near field mobile payment has been growing rapidly, but most of them are fragmented. There is a lack of correlation between patent applications and the lack of layout of peripheral patents around existing patents. In addition, the depth of research and development, the system also needs to be further improved. Therefore, the author believes that domestic enterprises should strengthen the in-depth and systematic research and development of technologies and strengthen the layout of the peripheral patents in view of the existing patents. At the same time, it is also necessary to increase the emphasis on overseas markets and strengthen the patent distribution in the world.

As the mainstream standard of near field mobile payment, NFC has been in a state of rapid development. Therefore, domestic applicants still need to keep track of the changes of NFC technology standards, analyze the changing trend of prediction standards, do patent layout work in advance, and strive to obtain more Of the improved patents to strengthen the global patent reserves, so as to follow-up standards, patent cross licensing and other advantages. In the meantime, domestic enterprises may appropriately intensify R & D efforts on some emerging near-field mobile payment methods in order to gain market first opportunities.

Finally, near-field mobile payment is susceptible to the market. Therefore, enterprises should not only pay attention to the merits of the technology and the number of patents when choosing an application solution, but also pay more attention to the balance of interests in the industry chain and the user experience. Domestic applicants can pay close attention to the industry dynamics in this field, pay attention to market research, and positively predict the industrial trend. At the same time, they should strive for a greater right to speak in the industry and strive to become the dominant player in the development of the industry.

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