The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming industries like manufacturing, agritech, energy, and healthcare.
But who actually has ownership of the IP of IoT software you are developing to connect to your devices?
With the rise of Industry 4.0 about to boost organisations’ productivity across the board, ownership of these tools has never been so important to understand.
As one of the few IoT software developers that creates actual ownable digital IP for clients including OVO Energy, Rotork, Kohler Mira, and ADEY, /MyOxygen often comes across this issue.
Here is what you might not know:
Intellectual Property is a funny thing in software. Ideas of the mind usually legally belong to their creator.
In software development, this can result in “vendor-lock”. These are situations where you remain dependent on an IoT developer that retains ownership of your software’s IP.
With connected devices, it can be better though. This is because it’s much harder to replicate both the software and your hardware.
You own the device you want to connect to. You own the hardware. So if your hardware is protected, no one else can replicate the value you’re generating with the software.
However, it’s by no means a guarantee that most IoT software developers will give you the Intellectual Property rights to the software they build for you.
Not having the IP rights to the software your business relies on matters. From added costs to unhappy clients to unconvinced investors, IP ownership can have huge repercussions.
Because as long as your software has well-chosen performance indicators and delivers a good and useful experience to your users, it’s a value generator.
In combination with your connected devices, smart, value-driven digital IoT software can help you:
But as soon as Intellectual Property rights are brought into question, spiralling costs required to make changes and long delays in any project can be the result.
The implementation of IoT software, analytics, and machine learning in manufacturing and other key industries is so massive that it’s being compared with the introduction of steam power.
Imagine a network of factories full of equipment with embedded sensors. These sensors collect a huge variety of data. That data can be used to reduce the cost of running the equipment.
Machinery is fixed before it breaks down. More becomes automated. Processes are optimised. They become safer. Visibility is total. Everything can be overseen from a distance.
Information that used to be siloed – data from your supply chain, sales, customer service departments – can be integrated too. Decision-making advances by leaps and bounds.
It’s hard to overestimate the impact this is going to have. It’s not being referred to as 4IR or the Fourth Industrial Revolution for nothing.
The digital IP rights to your IoT software can generate immense value. This makes it vital that you can trust the partner you are developing it with.
Explore what their policy for IP transfer is early on. Make sure the transfer of ownership is documented.
In the 20 years /MyOxygen has partnered with organisations like the NHS, MoD, OVO Energy, and many others, we’ve seen how things can go wrong.
We’ve also seen how the creation of value-driven, ownable digital IP has empowered organisations to take advantage of everything Industry 4.0 has to offer.
How does your organisation plan to implement Industry 4.0?
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