Matthias Rößler - 11. May 2020

Patents and digitalization: Technology trend Internet of Things

Continued growth of patent applications at the EPO

For some years now the European Patent Office records an increase of patent applications in the fields of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). The applications are mainly from China, the USA, South Korea, Australia, Germany, UK and Japan (Source: Statista "Länder mit den meisten Patentanmeldungen im Bereich IoT weltweit", March 2019).

Regarding inventions in the field of IoT technologies worldwide, the number of annual patent applications almost doubled from 2017 to 2018 (Source: Statista "Anzahl der jährlichen Patentanmeldungen weltweit im Bereich IoT", as of June 2019).

IoT developments particularly go along with a strong increase of patent applications concerning computer-implemented software inventions. Such inventions treat the line to patent law protection, because it is not possible to patent a software itself and non-technical effects generated by such software are largely disregarded when assessing patentability; see our blog article from October 2018. Often these inventions are only patented in functional connection with mechanical or electrical components.

Interconnection with information and communication technology

Not only IT companies, but also industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises engage in using IoT platforms to integrate products, machines and systems more effectively with each other. In this context, classic manufacturing facilities become more and more connected with modern information and communication technology. The technical basis are intelligent sensors, machines and systems communicating and cooperating via the Internet of Things.

Development of IP strategies with patent attorneys

Innovations and new products or services developed by engineering and technology companies must be protected in the best possible way. Whether it be new applications in the field of automation, automotive engineering or networking - our patent attorneys advise their clients in the development and implementation of a comprehensive IP strategy tailored to the company´s digitalization agenda.

Regarding Matthias Rößler:

Matthias Rößler, German and European Patent Attorney since 2003, studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen. He is co-founding partner of karo IP. A main focus of his practice is the management of large patent portfolios and the enforcement of bilateral litigation proceedings before patent offices and patent courts. His additional qualification as Master of Laws (LL.M.) qualifies him especially for multinational infringement matters in Europe.

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