Internet of Things or IoT is an approach to interrelating computer devices, objects, digital and mechanical machines, automobile and animals or humans. Without any human to human or human to machine interaction, IoT can collect and transfer data with the help of unique identifiers. IoT can be a public or private sector bank that has built-in-sensor to alert the respective person against any wrong activities for example; a patient with a brain monitoring implant, a biometric machine in the office to record attendance of employees, CCTVs and air-conditioners.

Development of IOT

In 1999, IoT was first encountered by Kevin Ashton who is the co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT. Kevin Ashton said, "Today computers, and, therefore, the Internet, are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code. The problem is, people have limited time, attention, and accuracy. All of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they gathered without any help from us, we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss, and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best."1

IOT & Intellectual property rights

IoT based giant companies are showing interest in intellectual property rights to protect their inventions. There have been debates over the patentability, copyright and infringement of IoT for a long time. At present, in order to provide better services, most of the devices are required to be connected through the help of these standard technologies like household devices, medical devices and electronic devices. In such case, patenting these standard technologies could hamper the growth of IoT. However Samsung, Apple and Qualcomm show through their examples that there are many standard technologies and inventions that can be patented. These patents will play a crucial role in invention and technology promotion and will encourage inventors or owners to take innovative steps in IoT developments.

IoT & Major Companies

India is a growing country and the market potential of the IoT is estimated to reach USD 9.2 billion by 2020. IoT in miniature devices are a result of the advancements of wireless communications, micro-electromechanical systems technology, and digital electronics. These devices have the ability to compute, analyze, sense and communicate wirelessly for short distances.

Samsung Electronics, The Korean giant, has approximately 200 unique Indian patents/ designs and is providing services, information, devices to people who are actively interconnected. However, Qualcomm and IBM have also filed a chunk of patent applications in India.

The major focus of these software giants is towards control systems, data acquisition, and monitoring applications. A large number of published patent applications are showing interest in the security of connected devices and networks and safeguarding in the IoT.

Home automation, wearable devices, smart cities and healthcare are the major application areas of IoT. Low-cost Bluetooth and NFC mobiles are miniaturized IoT devices in India which are providing better connectivity and communication with fewer discrepancies.

Indian patent act and IOT

On grounds of Section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, the software programs as such are not intended to be granted a patent. However, the patent documents which discloses about the software program incorporated with hardware devices including IoT, might be allowed by the controller for a grant.


Even though IoT shows promising future in India and will encourage further technological advancements but still there is a need for the legislature to adopt software programing, artificial intelligence and IoT, etc to be eligible for patents. So it's high time for India to bring out a clear test of patent granting for computer-related inventions and for further advanced software technology investment.



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