The Internet of Things (IoT) is the idea that any object might be connected to the internet. Such objects could be elementary devices such sensors or actuators. Or they might be ‘smart’ versions of everyday devices, e.g. home appliances, electricity meters, or ‘wearables’. The internet connectivity allows all of these objects to interact either with each other or with servers. In some cases it provides improved functionality for the smart object. In other cases, benefits arise through the use of vast numbers of smart devices, feeding data to and from servers and other devices. Some commentators believe the IoT will totally revolutionise our lives, to the extent that it has been described as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Insights: Internet of Things
Innovations in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are typically implemented in software and so can be challenging to patent at the European Patent Office. Firstly, patent protection for the invention must not be ruled out by the “software as such” exclusion of Article 52 EPC, and the invention must therefore solve a notional “technical problem”. Secondly, it must be possible to reduce an often complicated inventive concept to a single paragraph of text that can act as a patent claim. By way of illustration, this article looks at the patented smart home technology behind Nest Lab’s (“Nest”) learning thermostat, and explores how innovative start-ups can effectively protect their inventions.
rocery delivery service Ocado was forced to temporarily suspend parts of its online service last month due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The panic buying induced by the virus resulted in a tenfold increase demand. However, even before this unprecedented surge Ocado has been steadily growing over recent years. A quick Google search shows the impressive growth of Ocado’s share price since its initial public offering. Investment in technology and intellectual property (IP) have played a major role in this growth.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a subsection of the more well-known Internet of Things. Broadly, the IoMT is a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, and health systems and services. This infrastructure aims to improve accessibility of healthcare, while improving patient health and satisfaction with healthcare services. In 2016, it was predicted that by the year 2020, 40% of IoT technology will be health related1 (more than any other subsection). It has also been predicted that by 2022, the IoMT market will be worth roughly US$158 billion2, compared to a comparatively measly US$24 billion in 20163. We at Reddie & Grose have been closely following the progress of the IoMT which encompasses many rapidly advancing technologies and a number of potentially patentable areas.