Patent issues leading to unprecedented growth of IoT companies
It is unclear today how to draft a patent framework that allows seamless communication between IoT devices manufactured by different companies adhering to different standards
IoT products are a major component of Industry 4.0 which brings together advances in computational power, wireless communication, AI, and data to build a vast technology infrastructure that works nearly autonomously.
The size of the IoT market is expected to grow spectacularly over the next decade. Globally, by 2020, it is expected to reach $7 trillion, and in India $9.2 billion.
Huge advances in manufacturing have allowed even small manufacturers to produce relatively sophisticated IoT products. This brings to the surface issues of patents governing IoT products and communication standards governing devices.
Patents in IoT space present opportunities
Until now most manufacturers of IoT products sought patents on physical products, the configuration of devices and their structures, output, and operation. Most IoT devices work within electronic products, healthcare products, and household products. Patenting products in which IoT devices can be used could potentially stymie the growth of the IoT industry. Thankfully examples set by some of the largest technology companies in the world including Apple, IBM, Samsung, and Qualcomm reveal there is a wide range of products that can be embedded with IoT devices.
New IoT products are regularly conceived and their function cannot be patented. Hence a tiny IoT capsule that upon being swallowed, captures and relays images from inside the human body cannot be patented. This allows companies that didn’t conceive of an IoT product to also manufacture a somewhat identical device. Functions for which IoT products can be created are numerous as well.
Patent issues leading to unprecedented growth of IoT companies By Amit Aggarwal
Co-Founder and Director, Effectual Services
Article was 1st published On ETCIO