Challenges to Solutions in Patenting IoT Technology

The Internet of Things shortened as IoT refers to a network of computer-based gadgets, physical devices, appliances, and all the items that are deployed together with actuators, sensors, electronics, and software to enhance the collection, connection, and data exchange. As a platform that offers opportunities to connect and control different types of devices with big data technology, which in turn improves performance, promotes economic benefits and minimizes the need for human intervention, IoT is the most important achievement of the 21st century. Considering the path IoT covered so far, it is predicted that the continuously growing technology would bring remarkable changes in not just the way we work but also the way we live. Now, as everyone wants to make profits by implementing this modern technology, the market revolving around it is turning more competitive and vulnerable day-by-day. One of the most common concerns that this vast technology, having its applications in almost every area, including transportation, healthcare, etc., faces is issues in patent-related activities.

Patenting of IoT

Although the patent distribution in the IoT domain is very fragmented, the bulk of activities related to patent regularly takes place in this domain. For instance, several branded companies, like LG Electronics, Ericsson, and Qualcomm, along with various other firms, stay active in enhancing their patent portfolio. Moreover, if considered from the nations’ perspective, then multiple countries, including the US, Japan, China, Korea, India, etc., are experiencing a remarkable hike in the number of patent filings made by their residents in regards to IoT technology. With a large number of firms and nations investing highly in patenting IoT technology, it would not at all be wrong to infer that IoT is flourishing as a hotbed of inventions. Indeed, securing innovations associated with IoT under Patent Protection isn’t easy. Individuals or firms innovating and operating in the IoT domain often encounter several challenges that prevent them from patenting their IoT inventions appropriately.

Challenges in Patenting IoT and Solutions to Them

  1. Claim Scope

As IoT systems refer to multiple devices functioning together, there are many different approaches with which the specific invention can be claimed in a Patent Application, for example:

  • Device or gadgets claims that comprise the IoT components
  • Method claims that consider how the IoT device operates, functions, or communicates with each other
  • Software-styled claims that emphasize software-implemented procedures and methods used by the remote server to communicate with the IoT devices

Though available with lots of options yet the inventors often keep their patent applications limited to only one or two claims due to cost factors and complexities.

To get a solution to this challenge, you need to understand the patentability requirements, be aware of the cost for obtaining a patent, and be familiar with the proposition from the innovation. Moreover, find out the answers to some questions like what is the working model of your business, which part of your invention is novel, who can infringe your idea. It will help you in getting the most suitable claim type for your IoT invention deprived of investing in unwanted claims.

  1. Joint or Divided Infringement

IoT technology is interactive, and therefore, can be used at multiple different locations. Although beneficial, this feature turns the IoT devices more vulnerable to Patent Infringement as it allows multiple parties to violate the inventors’ patent rights. Furthermore, everyone who infringes on the IoT system can do so in two ways – he/she can use the entire IoT device or only its parts, i.e., components. In the case of divided infringement, people often confuse whether there is a liability if the infringement splits amongst multiple actors, parties, and devices. As per the Patent Law‘s rules, the violation liability is likely if the patent infringement involves the participation of various parties. It is also possible if a single defendant exercises ‘control of direction’ for the entire process in a manner that each step is attributable to the ruling party.

A solution in regards to this challenge can be obtained by drafting claims from the viewpoint of just one component existing in the IoT system. Nevertheless, due to continually changing trends and doubts regarding patent eligibility of inventions, it appears a bit difficult for the individuals or companies to draft such claims. If it is so, then you should claim only those components that are more susceptible to be operated or sold by others without your consent.

As mentioned above, IoT facilitates the world with numerous opportunities by allowing the easy and direct combination of the physical world with computer-based systems. It is the trendiest way to improve efficiency and economic benefits, along with reducing human involvement. And patenting IoT is the best way to extract more and more benefits from this technology while keeping your invention out of the reach of infringers. For more visit:

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