Is IPR the Poisoned Chalice for the IoT?

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By Jamie Moss | 2Q 2019 | IN-5463


A Rude Awakening


Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers are being asked to pay licensing fees to the Intellectual Property (IP) owners of cellular communications technology for the use of their patented inventions. This is proving problematic, as it is a cost that some IoT manufacturers had not factored into their Bill of Materials (BoM). While all manufacturers experience the acute problem of no commonly agreed upon amount considered reasonable for them to pay, IoT devices can have wildly different sticker prices, use connectivity to solve different business problems (the results of which are worth differing sums), and rely, to varying degrees, on connectivity as a fundamental part of their value proposition. For example, a tracking device is dramatically different in every respect from an industrial machinery item, yet both may make use of the exact same connectivity technologies and telecommunications components.

Device manufacturers should not need to become telecommunications experts to benefit from connectivity. A fact consciously re-emphasized at Mobile World Congress in 2019 and ci…

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