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.