IoT devices are driving the industrial workflow leading to new inventions in the technology. With new innovations, the challenges of patenting IoT technologies also emerge. Smart sensors and other IoT devices communicate to achieve goals, this can be done in multiple ways which emanate patent infringement issues. Classification of challenges of patenting IoT technology can be done in four categories-
• Scope of Claim: Claims that cover IoT devices and their operational methods by which they exchange information over the network. Also, software styled claims covering the process of remote server and software involved in IoT operations.
• Joint and Divided: Interactive IoT technology can be implemented in multiple locations leading to claims made by more than party. Components of IoT technology can be sold, owned, and operated by different companies. Divided infringement deals with the scenario where the infringement liability is split across multiple parties and devices.
• Subject-Matter Eligibility Post: IoT broadly converges real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded system technologies to function. Since the objective of IoT innovations is enhancing efficiency and optimizing processes for economic gain, sometimes an idea can be characterized as abstract producing no technical improvement or tangible result.
• Patent Quality: All patents are not of the same type covering multiple claims. Few patents are very narrow whereas few cover many claims defining the quality of patent.
Solutions to overcome the above-mentioned challenges
Scope related claims can be dealt with by prioritizing the claim based on the business models of the company. Actual IoT device, software, and remote service providing firms can go for device and operability, software-styled, and server-side processes claim respectively.
• Licensing a software claim against multiple industries depending upon operation on multiple devices. Also, opting claim asserted directly to a particular customer or end user.
• Joint- divided claims can be dealt by analyzing the use of devices and software and filing a detailed claim after that addressing only the IoT device or software used. It is necessary to understand whether the invention is patentable or not depending upon its usage.
• Understanding patent eligibility is essential before filing a claim. This can be determined by analyzing patent laws, natural phenomena, device operability, and various other factors. An IoT invention must achieve technical advancement or tangible result providing economic gain.