The Internet of Things and the issue of IP rights (Part 1)

The issue of intellectual property rights may impede the progress toward the goal of a seamless, interoperable digital system

Introduction

What exactly is the Internet of Things? Basically, this is the idea of everyday objects being embedded with technology that enables them to sense and communicate. And when such objects are able to represent themselves digitally on the Internet, they can be controlled from anywhere! Over 10 billion products — mobile devices, appliances, machines, etc. — are now connected online. This means that there are already more things connected to the internet than there are people on the planet. Further, this number is expected to triple to 30 billion by the year 2020. And according to Cisco chief executive John Chambers, this interconnectivity of products, people and places translates into an emerging $14.4 trillion global market. Perhaps this is why Cisco prefers the term “The Internet of Everything.” However, the issue of intellectual property rights, particularly the desire of industry leaders to protect their patents and trade secrets, may impede the progress toward the goal of a seamless, interoperable digital system.

Contributing Author

author image

John F. O'Rourke

John F. O'Rourke is a registered patent attorney and inventor at WHGC, P.L.C. He has nearly 40 years of overall experience in the applied...

Bio and more articles

Contributing Author

author image

Patrick Soon

Patrick Soon is an attorney at WHGC, P.L.C. whose practice focuses on intellectual property. Outside of his work at WHGC, Mr. Soon volunteers for...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.